Kencella will be making his Melbourne racing debut in the Listed Carlyon Stakes and Justine Hales is confident that the talented sprinter will handling the unique Moonee Valley track on Saturday.
Kencella joined the stable of Chris Waller at the end of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, after previously being prepared by John O’Shea and he has impressed with two barrier trial performances at Rosehill Gardens in the lead-up to his spring campaign.
Waller elected to send Kencella to Melbourne instead of running the five-year-old in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens almost two weeks ago and his Melbourne stable foreman Hales took the son of Exceed And Excel to Moonee Valley yesterday to give him a look at the track before he runs in the Carlyon Stakes this weekend.
“It was a nice chance to take him around there and he handled the track really well,” Hales told AAP.
“He worked really well.
“He should get around Moonee Valley easily, especially over 1000 metres and kick off the bend.”
Kencella made his racing debut with a dominant five lengths win in the Primo Meats Handicap (1000m) at Goulburn in March last year and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m) at Royal Randwick on April 1.
The talented sprinter resumed with another six lengths victory at Wyong on October 27 and he scored his maiden metropolitan victory in the Big Brown At Vinery Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm on November 13 before being narrowly denied a third straight win in the McGrath China Desk (1000m) at Randwick on November 29.
After finishing second behind Inside Job again at Canterbury on December 18, Kencella returned to winning form with back-to-back wins over 1100 metres at Rosehill Gardens on January 4 and February 1 before he made his black type debut with a strong win in the Group 3 McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
O’Shea elected to give Kencella a maiden opportunity at Group 1 level in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the race, but he tired in the final stages to finish 11th.
Kencella will need to be at his best to start his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Carlyon Stakes, with talented mares Shamal Wind and Villa Verde set to contest the Listed event.