Keano could chase NZ sprint

Danny O'Brien will target the Standish Handicap and maybe the $NZ1 million Telegraph Handicap in New Zealand with Keano who returned to form with a narrow win in the Red Tempo Sprint at Flemington yesterday.

O'Brien said Saturday's 1000m straight dash was all about getting Keano back into form after he beat only one runner home when 12th to Burdekin Blues in the Listed Grazia Style Stakes (1100m) at Flemington at his previous start when second-up on November 5.

Ridden by Steven Arnold, Keano ($5) settled back from barrier one as the speedy Alexander Beetle ($21) flew along in front down the centre of the track.

The Pins four-year-old kept coming and got up to score by a half-neck from Alexander Beetle with Arinos ($3.80 fav) a short half-head away third.

"He'll go to the Standish now and we left him in the Telegraph. We'll have to give it a bit more thought about how to get him there and what the race will be like, I mean you don't want to go there unless you can win it," O'Brien said.

"It's a million-dollar handicap sprint which wouldn't be overly strong, that's why we left him in it.

"Today was to get him back in the winners' list. I don't think he's been super-impressive.

"I'm not making grand plans, but I'm glad to see him win again."

Keano has now won five of his 13 starts, three of them on his home track at Flemington, with his best victory coming in the Listed Lightning Hcp (1000m) on a heavy track at Eagle Farm on June 6 this year.

He was spelled after finishing third as odds-on favourite to News Alert in the Group Three WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 20.

The Group Three $200,000 Standish Hcp (1200m) is at Flemington on New Year's Day while the Group One Telegraph Hcp (1200m) is at Trentham on January 23.

Story by Herald Sun, to view full story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view photo click here

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