Victorian trainer Ken Keys admits he felt a little out of place at Randwick before the Sydney Cup a year ago.
That all changed when Like A Carousel, the outsider in the Group One field, ran third behind Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.
The six-year-old is back this year with a similar lack of obvious form and at a similar price for Saturday’s Cup (3200m).
“I had no expectations before the race last year but I looked up and saw he was 200-1 and I thought `what are we doing here’,” Keys said.
“And when he ran third it was a highlight for him. He is a horse who really can’t do anything until he gets up to these longer races.
“I’m realistic but with the exception of the favourite, Libran, he is meeting a similar field.
“And he also ran fourth in the Sandown Cup against much the same horses. I’d like to think he could be in the mix.”
Like A Carousel is at $101 with the Chris Waller-trained Libran the $3.80 favourite ahead of Who Shot Thebarman ($4.20) and Grand Marshal ($4.60).
The Sandown Cup in November was win by Almoonqith from The Offer and Grand Marshal.
Liek A Carousel has had three unplaced starts this year, the most recent when eighth in the Adelaide Cup.
“I mucked up in Adelaide with how we rode him,” Keys said.
“We went back on him instead of forward but he finished the race off strongly which is what we wanted to see.”
Since Keys paid $10,000 for Like A Carousel at the Tasmanian yearling sale in 2011, the gelding has earned more than $420,000 although he has won just two of his 36 starts.
“He owes us nothing and we’ll keep on doing what we’ve been doing,” Keys said.
“The dream is always there to try to get to a Melbourne Cup.
“He’s incredibly genuine over two miles.”
Keys works a team of around 20 from his Cranbourne base and is best known in recent years for preparing stakes winner and 2014 Caulfield Guineas runner-up Rich Enuff.
As a part-owner of Rich Enuff along with Woodside Park Stud, Keys was happy to send the four-year-old to Peter and Paul Snowden to try to get a Sydney WIN but the horse bled and was immediately retired ahead.
In a deal struck by Woodside, Rich Enuff will stand the 2016 season at Glenlogan Park in Queensland and return to Victoria the following year.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au