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A Matriarch win for Edna

3 min read

By Bren O'Brien

There has surely been no more appropriately named winner of the G2 7News Matriarch S than Kenedna (Not A Single Doubt).

Owner Mick Johnston named the horse after his grandparents, Ken and Edna Johnston, and 92-year-old Edna was undoubtedly celebrating in her home town of Leongatha after Kenedna's win in the feature Flemington mares' race.

And it was a success that wouldn’t have happened had the owners proceeded with an original plan to send Kenenda to the breeding barn earlier this spring.

"It was three days from when the truck was booked and Weiry said, 'I think she's ready for another prep' and here we are today with another win." - Mick Johnston

"Nan is at home. Cheers Nan, she'll be rapt and so will the rest of the family," Johnston said after the race.

"For Weiry (trainer Darren Weir) and his team, it’s been a great job. She (Kenedna) wasn't far off going to the paddock. It was three days from when the truck was booked and Weiry said, 'I think she's ready for another prep' and here we are today with another win."

Johnston, a former AFL footballer with Hawthorn and Footscray, has had a strong association with Weir, including as one of the owners of G1 Australian Cup winner Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo {Ire}).

The close friendship was what led Weir to suggest to Johnston that they reconsider retiring Kenedna, who was already a four-time black-type winner but had seemingly lost her way in her 4-year-old year.

“She didn’t come up last preparation and the plan was to get her in foal,” Weir said.

"I said you probably should have a think about sending her to stud or not because for some reason she has developed." - Darren Weir

“She spelled up at my farm, and I didn’t say for them to put her back into work, but I said you probably should have a think about sending her to stud or not because for some reason she has developed. She has become big and strong and maybe another preparation might be good.”

“Johno went around and saw all of the crew and the next day he came back and said get her into work.”

The decision to put Kenedna back into work has paid off for her connections

Set for the breeding barn

Kenenda was a high-class 3-year-old, who was just beaten when favourite in the G1 Schweppes Oaks before winning the G2 Doomben Roses at her next start. She then ran fourth in the G1 Queensland Oaks.

But she would have just one run as a 4-year-old, with Weir saying she kept going sore, prompting the decision to retire her.

Sent to Weir's Baringhup farm, she was readied for a life as broodmare before her trainer spotted her one day and noticed her physical development.

Kenedna returning to scale with jockey, John Allen

Weir is now looking at Group 1 options next campaign for Kenedna, who is a three-quarter sister to Group 2 QTC Cup winner and Aquis stallion Spill the Beans.

“She was a great 3-year old and there is still a bit of upside to her,” the trainer said.

“She was a great 3-year old and there is still a bit of upside to her." - Darren Weir

Her younger half-sister Full of Beans (Smart Missile) has had one win from three starts for Bjorn Baker, while that filly's full sister Kevikki, a $240,000 buy, is with Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young but is unraced as a 3-year-old.

Arrowfield retained the 2-year-old full-sister to Spill the Beans, Lady Patricia, to race, while Kenedna's full brother was born last month.