David Hayes has such a high opinion of three-year-old Keen Array, he will enter him for the Group One Lightning Stakes.
Hayes said he would study the nomination list before deciding whether the son of Bel Esprit took his place in the 1000m sprint on the straight course at Flemington on Saturday.
The original plan was to head to the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on February 27 but his recent jump-outs at Flemington have forced Hayes and co-trainer Tom Dabernig to re-think his program.
“I just like the Lightning into the Newmarket and he’s a proven straight horse,” Hayes said.
“He’s looked good in his trials and I think he’s an improving sprinter.
“I think he’ll run well in whatever we put him in.”
Keen Array showed improvement through his second campaign with four wins and two seconds from six spring starts.
He went from winning his maiden on the synthetic track at Geelong to finishing second to Japonisme in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in October.
He was beaten 1-1/2 lengths in that race with Hayes saying Japonisme had the fast lane while Keen Array raced in the slower part of the track.
The Lightning Stakes isn’t expected to attract a big field but it will be full of quality.
Godolphin three-year-old Exosphere is scheduled to make his return in the Group One race after flopping down the straight in the Coolmore Stud last spring.
“I’m not too worried about Exosphere, I’m more worried about Chautauqua,” Hayes said.
“We’ll just see how it shapes up.”
Chautauqua will be entered but a decision whether he runs won’t be made until later in the week.
Terravista, Delectation and Japonisme will also be among the straight track Group One winners in the Lightning.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au