Kinane fulfils Kent’s promise

4 min read

Written by Richard Edmunds

Cover image by Dan Himbrechts courtesy of AAP Photos

Michael Kent reached out to Chris Waller earlier this year with an offer and a prediction. On Saturday at Randwick, up-and-comer Kinane (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) proved him absolutely right.

Kent took a break from training at the end of February and transferred Kinane, who he still part-owns, to Waller.

Making only his third start from his new stable, Kinane stepped up to stakes level on Saturday and scored a superb victory in the G3 Cactus Imaging Frank Packer Plate.

Michael Kent

“Full credit to Michael Kent, who sent him to me to train,” Waller said. “I think it is always a trainer’s privilege when he gets a call from another trainer.

“Further to that, not only did he say he was going to send him to me to train, but he also said, ‘I reckon this is the right Frank Packer Plate horse,’ and this was three months ago.

“He is a pretty good judge obviously, if not an exceptional judge. He knows his horses. Thanks to him and his owners.”

Kinane (NZ) as a yearling

Bought for $165,000 by Phill Cataldo at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, Kinane had lined up in only three races before Saturday’s black-type breakthrough. He placed in maiden events at Bendigo and Warwick Farm, then cleared maiden grade at Wyong on March 28.

Waller threw the gelding in at the deep end on Saturday, and his new recruit rose to the occasion in outstanding style.

With James McDonald in the saddle, Kinane produced an explosive finish out of midfield and swept past the front-running Entente (Dundeel {NZ}) to win by 1.25l.

Kinane’s performance made an enormous impression on McDonald, who was riding him for the first time in a race.

“He gives you an excellent feel, but probably almost the feel of the carnival for me,” he said. “He was pretty special today. He’s just very new in how he executes his craft.

“When I looked up, I was quite surprised how far Entente had skipped away, but my horse responds under riding and he just kept extending, that’s what he did in his maiden.

“Once he got out, he had many lengths to make up and he did it effortlessly. It’s nice to tick off that Group box, and now he can move forward on to bigger and better things. As a 4-year-old, I think you’ll see a very special horse.

"As a 4-year-old, I think you’ll see a very special horse." - James McDonald

“He did all his education with Mick Kent, who did a marvellous job. I hope he’s watching, because he’s had something to do with something pretty special.

“This horse will run further than what he’s done now, but he is probably six months away. What he is doing now is just a bonus. He feels so raw, and it’s exciting to unearth such a nice horse going forward.”

James McDonald | Image by Dan Himbrechts courtesy of AAP Photos

It remains to be decided whether Kinane’s future lies in Waller’s stable or back with Kent.

“I hope he (Kent) stays away through all of this coronavirus and leaves him with me for a bit longer yet,” Waller said.

“We didn’t discuss it. He just said to look after him, he’s a nice horse with a bright future. Treat him as if he is your own. When you get those instructions, you certainly do what you can to make sure you’re winning races, but looking after the horse as well.

“He will be nominated for the South Australian Derby. Normally he would be going to the Queensland Derby, I think that was the original plan. We’ll look at the South Australian Derby at this stage anyway.”