Talented gelding Kencella led from start to finish to score an impressive victory in the 2014 McCarten Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Kencella went straight to the lead out of the gates and kicked clear when asked for an extra effort coming around the bend before racing away to score a comfortable victory from Va Pensiero and That’s A Good Idea in race record time.
Trainer John O’Shea has shown plenty of patience with Kencella since he made his racing debut in March last year and was clearly happy to have something to cheer about after his star gallopers White Sage and Bernabeu both suffered serious injuries during the week.
“He has an affiliation with the track and distance, so we have waited each time for a race like this,” O’Shea said after the race.
“It is for (owner) Lex (Piper) and his family because they own the mare and they have been very patient with this bloke.
“He has been in work for quite a long time and he has got a job done now, so we will see how he pulls off.”
Jockey James McDonald has a strong book of rides at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon and was happy to start his day with a win ahead of high-pressure rides on Mossfun in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) and It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (1200m).
McDonald was celebrating his second race win on Kencella and was quick to pay credit to O’Shea for having the Exceed And Excel gelding in such good condition for the McCarten Stakes.
“He is a very nice horse and John has done a wonderful job with him,” McDonald said.
“It is a great training effort to freshen him up and put him in a good Group 3 race fit, firing and ready to go.
“We were just flying along and he just has a high cruising speed; he took charge of the race and he was too quick.”
That’s A Good Idea was well-backed in the lead-up to the race, but missed the start and was forced to settle towards the tail of the field.
The Flying Spur gelding made up good ground in the final stages of the race, but was no match for the winner and could finish no better than third.