Co-trainer Tom Dabernig has revealed that Keen Array could be tested against older horses for the first time in the 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes or 2016 Oakleigh Plate.
Keen Array was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a gallant second behind Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31, but he is now close to a return to racing and he will have an official jump out at Flemington next week.
Dabernig told Racing Ahead that the stable is yet to decide where Keen Array will start his 2016 Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, but he said that both the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 20 and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same venue a week later are both on the agenda for the exciting gelding.
“He was ridden this morning at the farm by Damian Lane and worked really well,” Dabernig said.
“He is going to head down to Flemington for a jump out.
“We are just considering whether we run him first-up in the Lightning and the other option is the Oakleigh Plate.
“He looks to have improved a little bit on last prep as well and he seems in good order.”
Keen Array did not impress in two starts as a two-year-old, but he worked through the grades impressive during his spring preparation.
He claimed his maiden race win with a dominant seven lengths victory in the Harveys Of Highton Maiden Plate (1000m) at Geelong on August 14 and he proved that performance was no fluke when he won the Total Animal Supplies Handicap (1000m) at Pakenham on September 3 in equally impressive fashion.
Keen Array finished second behind Bassett in the TROA National Jockeys Trust Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on September 19, but he returned to winning form in both the Hill Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 and the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14 before he finished second in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
The Lindsay Park team are chasing their first race win in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes since Nicconi took out the 2010 edition of the race, while they have not taken out the Oakleigh Plate since Eagle Falls scored an upset victory in 2011 and they have since been placed with Fast ‘N’ Rocking.