In-form gelding Kaiser Sun will make his Listed debut in the Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday after starting his summer campaign with back-to-back wins.
Kaiser Sun returned to the races with a comfortable victory over Nicholls Court in the Lanec Services Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on December 14 and made it two wins from as many starts with a strong victory in the Flemington 1840-2014 Handicap (1000m) on New Year’s Day.
Trainer Simon Zahra told Racing Victoria that the Kensington Stakes was always on the agenda for Kaiser Sun and said that he believes the son of Danerich is good enough to progress to more difficult Group level races.
“This is a goal we’ve been working toward and if he wins or runs well, we’ll look at raising the bar again with him,” Zahra said.
“He is slowly starting to put it all together, both physically and mentally.”
Kaiser Sun has now recorded four wins from just six starts, including three straight victories, but will need to perform at his best against a strong field in the Kensington Handicap this weekend.
Veteran gelding First Command has won the past two editions of the Kensington Stakes and is set to return to the races for the first in just over eleven months in the Listed event this weekend.
First Command won the Mal Secull Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on January 5 last year and took out the Kensington Stakes before finishing third behind Avoid Lightning and Canali in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m).
The Commands gelding was stepped back up to Group 1 level for the 2013 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 16, but was outclassed and finished a distant seventh behind equine superstar Black Caviar.
First Command has an excellent first-up record but has been allocated the top weight of 60kg for the Kensington Stakes by Racing Victoria Handicappers.
Another sprinter returning to the races after a stint in the spelling paddock is Ricky Maund-trained General Effort, who finished an unlucky eighth behind First Command in the 2012 edition of the race.
General Effort performed well without winning during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing third in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), but was sent to the paddock following his ninth place finish behind Spirit Of Boom in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m).
Other horses included in the Kensington Stakes nominations are: Mick Price-trained Loveyamadly, progressive gelding Don’t Get Excited and the lightly-raced Diamond Glow.