Keen Array got his nose down at the right time to record a narrow victory over Well Sprung in the 2016 Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Keen Array hit the front at the 200 metre mark and he looked like a sitting duck when both Hucklebuck and Well Sprung loomed on the outside, but he got the bob to return to winning form from an unlucky Well Sprung and Santa Ana Lane.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn admitted that he hit the front earlier than he expected and he believes that the four-year-old was entitled to knock up late, but was delighted he was able to get the job done in the Testa Rossa Stakes.
“I got carted into the bend good, but I didn’t have any cover,” Dunn said.
“I just put him in the right part of the track and he just presented me there a little bit early.
“I gave him a kick and I got a response a bit quicker than I thought I would.
“He did a great job and he was vulnerable late, but the way that he is going this preparation if he can get cover over 1400 or even a mile that might be an option for him.”
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig thought that Well Sprung had beaten Keen Array in the Testa Rossa Stakes and he was clearly delighted that the son of Bel Esprit had been able to get the job done.
Dabernig revealed after the race that the Lindsay Park team is keen to get Keen Array up to 1400 metres and he said that the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) next weekend is a potential option for the four-year-old.
“That was fantastic, he really showed that he is back in form,” Dabernig said.
“He travelled in the race like the winner, but I must admit when the photo came up that I was glad he still had a bit of that winter coat because he only held on by a whisker.
“Everyone has been keen to try him over 1400 and there is the Rupert Clarke next week, which could be a consideration.
“If we keep him sprinting there are races like the Gilgai or another Listed 1200 here at Caulfield.
“There are lots of great options here and I am thrilled for all the owners involved.”
Well Sprung flew home late and was unlucky not to record another black-type victory, while Santa Ana Lane also made up ground in the final stages to finish third.