Stradbroke in Keano's sights

Talented three-year-old Keano has the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in his sights as trainer Danny O'Brien reins in the distance range for the colt.

Keano has always impressed O'Brien as one of the better horses he has trained but admitted that trying him as a "miler" in the autumn was a mistake.

"I wouldn't try him past 1400 metres again," O'Brien said referring to Keano's fifth to Pre Eminence in the Group Two Alister Clark Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley in February.

"It didn't seem like he ran the mile out so the (Australian) Guineas was out of the question and we gave him a break."

Keano had a month in the paddock and six weeks training before returning to the races on Saturday for the 1000m Tasman Handicap at Flemington which he won in emphatic style.

Ridden by Steven Arnold and back last of the 10 runners to the 400m, he was pulled to the outside of the field down the straight course and powered home for a half-length victory over Burly Griffen and Silver Bullion.

"Effectively it was a jump out for him as he is heading to Queensland now," O'Brien said.

The son of Pins left for Brisbane on Sunday to target the lead up races to the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.

"I have always liked him," O'Brien said.

"He's got the ability. He's had only seven starts and he's won three of them but could easily have won five.

O'Brien noted that Keano was yet to win a stakes race but he indicated it was only a matter of time before he enhanced his pedigree.

"We want to get him up to Queensland and have a couple of cracks at those lead up races to force his way in to the (Stradbroke) field," O'Brien said.

"He was a little bit on the fresh side (on Saturday) and he will get good improvement out of the win."

Three-year-olds have won three of the last six Stradbroke Handicaps with Private Steer (2003), La Montagna (2006) and Sniper's Bullet (2007) all successful.

By The Virtual Form Guide, to read full story click here

Photo by Greg Irvine

History Repeats

History Repeats
[07 Dec 18] In 2009, trainer Danny O’Brien produced a pre-Christmas debut two-year-old winner over 1000m at The Valley in eventual dual Group 1 winner Star Witness. On Friday night history repeated as the trainer stepped out the gun stallion’s half-sister, Lady Lupino, who matched her brother with an all the way win over the same trip.  more...

My Pendant headed for Stakes test

My Pendant headed for Stakes test
[01 Dec 18] My Pendant is likely to feature in Stakes company in the second half of this season after winning her second-consecutive metropolitan race at The Valley on Saturday.  more...

Made Me Shiver commanding first-up

Made Me Shiver commanding first-up
[01 Dec 18] Uncle Mo filly Made Me Shiver made a winning return to the races at Yarra Valley on Saturday leading all the way in a commanding performance. Jockey Jason Benbow made the decision to hold the lead from an inside gate in the 1500m event despite much early pressure.   more...