2016 Oakleigh Plate an Option for Keen Array

January 15th, 2016

Keen Array was a standout performer through the recent Spring Carnival and will likely be set for the 2016 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27th, according to co-trainer Tom Dabernig.

Keen Array appears likely to contest the 2016 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Keen Array appears likely to contest the 2016 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Keen Array has been a standout performer for Dabernig and co-trainer David Hayes since first appearing on course competitively in early 2015; posting an impressive four wins and two minors through only eight career starts.

Dabernig told Racenet the horse has taken plenty of benefit from his time away from racing and subsequent return to work and believes a race like the 2016 Oakleigh Plate will figure as an ideal early Autumn Carnival target for Keen Array.

“We’re thinking about an Oakleigh Plate run first-up,” Dabernig said.

“We’re not going to push him too hard but he’ll probably have his first run in February and the Oakleigh Plate is in late February.

“He’s come back like a developed horse now. He did everything on raw ability in the spring.

“In his early runs as a two-year-old he got a few things wrong and then he was shinsore. He did some evens on Saturday morning and he looks great.

“He’s been back in four weeks but he really looks the part now.”

Keen Array returned to racing in spring for an impressive seven-length success in the Harveys Of Highton Maiden (1000m) on August 14th; repeating the dose with a commanding eight length win in the Total Animal Supplies BM64 (1000m) a fortnight later.

Running a close second to Bassett in the Troa National Jockeys Trust Plate (1100m) on September 19th, the Bel Esprit gelding returned to winning form in the William Hill Plate (1200m) on October 2nd before making a successful transition to black type company when victorious in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

Keen Array undoubtedly produced a career-best effort to date in his most recent appearance however, when producing a huge late turn of foot to finish a close second in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31st.

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