The Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes is a Spring Carnival option for Keen Array who scored a dominant win in the Listed $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today.
Keen Array continued to rise up through the classes with a strong finishing burst today to record his fourth win from seven starts and trainer David Hayes now rates the Bel Esprit gelding as the best three year old in his stable.
Hayes who trains in partnership with Tom Dabernig, will now decide if he takes little steps with Keen Array and tackles the Group 3 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day or head to Flemington the following week and take on the cream of three year old crop in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
“It will either be the Valley or the Coolmore. It will be one or the other,” Hayes said after the Blue Sapphire Stakes win.
“Where we go next, we will probably think about it but there is a lovely set weights Group race at the Valley.”
“I think he could be a bit of a freak at the Valley the way he was the other day and we might think about taking on the very, very best next prep.”
“At the moment we are not sure, and we don’t want to make race day decisions.”
Hayes had plenty of confidence that Keen Array would work his way up through to the top grade from his two year old days and now rates him as his best three year in the stable.
“We were very confident that he would get to this level,” Hayes said.
“He was our best two year old last year and he went shin sore.”
“I am sure he will run 1400m and I hope he will run 1600m.”
“While he is sprinting so fast, I don’t want to change much while it is working.”
“He is my best three year old sprinter, clearly. There is not too many better in Australia so he is right up there.”
Keen Array continued the good fortunes that the Hayes and Dabernig Team is having at the moment and collected another winning double today after He Or She took out the previous race, the $80,000 Spicer Thoroughbred Handicap (1600m) with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
While Hayes and Dabernig were the star of the show at Caulfield last Saturday with a Group 1 winning double with Criterion in the $400,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and with Stay With Me in the $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Blue Sapphire Stakes winning jockey Damian Lane also wrapped up a winning double today after scoring on the John and Chris Ledger trained Secret Toy Bizness in the $80,000 Race-Tech Subzero Challenge Heat 1 (1400m).
Lane rode a patience race on Keen Array ($2.30 favourite) and emerged from the back of the pack at the 300m to score a half a length win over the John O’Shea trained Mogador ($4.40) who made his ran on from the back at the same time as the winner.
The runner up’s stalemate Haptic ($5) set the pace and battled on strongly to the line to hold down third spot.