Lloyd Kennewell believes that Conservatorium will be at peak fitness after running in the 2014 The Goodwood at Morphettville and said that the veteran gelding will relish the step-up in trip in both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Conservatorium failed to fire in his two starts since starting his autumn preparation, finishing eighth in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on April 12 and seventh in the Group 3 McKay Stakes (1100m) at the same venue on April 26, but Kennewell told Racing Ahead that he is happy with the condition of the Royal Academy gelding ahead of The Goodwod this weekend.
“He is really well,” Kennewell said.
“He probably needed a couple of runs this time in, he is getting a little bit older and a little bit wiser, and he is ticking along really nicely.
“It was probably his career best run (when second behind Platelet in The Goodwood last year) before going to Perth and Queensland and I think that he will run.
“There does appear to be plenty of speed in the race and if he can maintain a good run he will run a nice solid race, but I think that it will top him off perfectly for when he gets to Brisbane and I think that he is really looking for that 1350 and 1400 now.
Conservatorium has been included in the nominations for both the Doomben 10,000 at Doomben on May 24 and the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 7 and Kennewell confirmed that he will contest both races.
The six-year-old has produced some of the best performances of his career over 1400 metres, winning both the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes and Group 3 Scahill Stakes over the trip during the 2013 Perth Summer Racing Carnival, and Kennewell is confident that Conservatorium can return to his best form when stepped up in trip.
“That (The Stradbroke Handicap) is definitely his main goal and he will go to the Doomben 10,000 in a fortnight,” Kennewell said.
“Nothing suggests that there is anything wrong with the horse; he is just looking for a little bit further and that seems to happen when they get a little bit longer.”
Joe Bowditch will partner Conservatorium in The Goodwood this weekend and will need to be at his very best after the Group 1 placegetter drew barrier 18 for the $500,000 race.