Like A Carousel finished second behind Caravan Rolls On in the Sandown Cup last year and trainer Ken Keys is hoping that the tough stayer can go one better in the 2014 edition of the race.
Like A Carousel started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible fifth in the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 before he recorded a maiden win at black type level in the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) at Sandown on September 27.
The Helike gelding was caught wide in the early stages of the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22, but was still able to hit the line strongly before he finished a flat sixth in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Keys believes that Like A Carousel did not have a great deal of luck in the Lexus Stakes and he told Racing Ahead that he is happy with the form of the five-year-old heading into the Sandown Cup this weekend.
“He is really well coming into it,” Keys said.
“We haven’t had a lot of luck in the last couple with him, but from barrier 12 at least we know what we will be doing with him – we will be going back.
“We know that he will stay 3200, so we can just let him run his own race as it pans out and I am pretty happy with it.
“Geelong was about the barrier and in the Lexus he got in the right position, but he got held up when he needed to be going forward.
“It took all of his momentum, but I’ve been more than happy with his efforts.”
Keys has already recorded two wins at Group level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, with Rich Enuff taking out both the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m), and the veteran trainer will have the chance to score another feature race win when Motel Memories runs in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
Motel Memories recorded his maiden win at Seymour on Tuesday and Keys said that he was happy to give the Shaft gelding the opportunity at Group level after he came out of the race in excellent condition.
“It is a short back-up, but he pulled up exceptionally well and I liked how he won his race the other day,” Keys said.
“He is still new, but he was strong on the line and deserved a crack at it.
“He is as good as gold, we have obviously done very little with him since and he is going to go there very bright.
“He jumped well at Seymour and he will go forward and I just imagine him box-seating and being in the first four.”
Like A Carousel is currently available at 2014 Sandown Cup odds of $5.50, while Motel Memories is available at the lengthy odds of $81 to record a maiden win at Group level.