Group 1 winner Kenedna heads stable quartet

4 min read
Fresh from a highly successful Warrnambool carnival, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will head to the Gold Coast on Saturday with four black-type contenders.

Maher and Eustace won five races during the famous three-day Warrnambool meeting this week, saluting with Euroman (GB) (Manduro {GER}), Bit Of A Lad (Ladoni {GB}), El Vincitore (Medaglia d'Oro {USA}), Big Blue (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) and Chequered Flag (NZ) (Raise The Flag {GB}).

Bit Of A Lad won the $150,000 Brierly Steeplechase, while Big Blue took out the $150,000 Galleywood Hurdle.

“It was a great carnival for the team,” Racing Manager Simon McCartin said. “All of the jumpers in particular performed really well, and it was good to get a few wins and a number of placings as well along the way. We were very happy with the week.”

Their headline act at the Gold Coast on Saturday is Kenedna (Not a Single Doubt) in the G2 TAB AD. Hollindale S.

“For her to get that first Group 1 win was a fantastic result for a great group of connections.” - Simon McCartin.

The 5-year-old claimed the biggest win of her career in her most recent appearance, beating a top-quality field of mares in the G1 Coolmore Legacy S. during The Championships in Sydney.

Kenedna

“For her to get that first Group 1 win was a fantastic result for a great group of connections,” McCartin said.

“She certainly hasn’t gone backwards since that win, and we’re now working towards the Doomben Cup with her. She’s drawn nicely this weekend (three) and should be a very good chance.”

Kenedna is the winner of eight of her 24 starts overall, earning more than $1.45 million for a group of 10 owners. Her previous highlights included Group 2 wins in The Roses at Doomben and in the Matriarch S. at Flemington, plus a second placing in the G1 Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide.

“He’s in good shape, but he’s just drawn a little awkwardly in gate 10 and might need a bit of luck from there.” – Simon McCartin.

Kenedna will be joined in the Hollindale by her stablemate Mask Of Time (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), who ran creditably at the Sydney carnival with a second in the G2 Ajax S., a fourth in the G3 Doncaster Prelude and a last-start sixth against a legend of the Australian turf.

“He performed pretty well in Sydney, and he’s coming out of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes where he was up against Winx,” McCartin said. “He’s not going to have to worry about her in this race.

“He’s in good shape, but he’s just drawn a little awkwardly in gate 10 and might need a bit of luck from there.”

Kenedna's enthusiastic connections

Kenedna will be ridden by Clayton Douglas and is the $4 favourite for the Hollindale, while Mask Of Time is at $18 and will be ridden by Michael Cahill.

“He just never really handled the heavy ground that day.” – Simon McCartin.

Exciting return

Meanwhile, the Listed TAB Ken Russell Memorial Classic marks the return of Maher and Eustace’s exciting 2year-old Dubious (Not a Single Doubt).

He won both of his first two starts including the G3 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick, then ran second in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at this course. After a third in the G2 Todman S., he was a well-beaten 10th in the G1 Golden Slipper in his most recent appearance.

“He just never really handled the heavy ground that day. I think you can put a line through that performance,” McCartin said. “He’s come back very well from that race.”

Dubious

With Douglas in the saddle, Dubious is a $3.30 second favourite. The Chris Waller-trained Accession (Brazen Beau), a placegetter in the Inglis Millennium earlier this year, is the $2.20 favourite.

“You never know for sure until they try it, but all indications are that the 1800 metres should be right up her alley.” – Simon McCartin.

The Maher-Eustace quartet is rounded out by promising filly Etana (Shamus Award) in the Listed Johnnie Walker Gold Coast Bracelet.

Etana has won three of her seven starts and ran on strongly for a last-start fifth in the G3 James Carr S. over 1400 metres.

“We really liked the way she hit the line over 1400 metres – it suggested that a longer trip would be ideal,” McCartin said. “You never know for sure until they try it, but all indications are that the 1800 metres should be right up her alley.

“She’s another one who’s going to need a little luck from the wide draw (13).”

Douglas will also ride Etana, who is rated a $12 chance. The Waller-trained Word For Word (So You Think {NZ}) is the favourite at $4.20.