Brown not fazed at distance change

Kievann’s liking for Moonee Valley was foremost in trainer Stephen Brown’s mind as he planned the sprinter’s first-up assignment.

Brown had picked out a 1200m-race for the gelding only to have to change plans when Saturday’s meeting was moved to Sandown because Moonee Valley needed more time to recover from a renovation.

Kievann will run over 1000m in the Ladbrokes Handicap because the Sandown Hillside track doesn’t accommodate a 1200m-start.

“We had him ready for a 1200 metre race at Moonee Valley but I wasn’t comfortable with the shift to 1300 metres first-up,” Brown said.

“So instead we’ve come back to 1000 metres.

“He won’t lose anything going over the shorter course.”

One thing Kievann won’t be doing this year is running in Darwin where Brown operated a stable until recently.

He has closed it down to concentrate on developing a property at Seymour, in country Victoria, to run in conjunction with his Flemington stable.

His jockey-daughter Alana and her partner Chris Nash have moved to the property with Nash recently granted a trainer’s licence in Victoria.

Brown hopes to strike up a training partnership with Nash and said the intention was to have a small team head to Darwin for the carnival in July and August.

“We’ll probably send four up but we’ve basically closed Darwin down after the last carnival so we’ll be more or less a visitor this year,” he said.

While Kievann was successful at last year’s Darwin carnival, Brown said the gelding wasn’t happy on the surface and would remain in Melbourne over winter.

Kievann’s 63kg on Saturday will be offset by a 2kg claim from Jake Bayliss who landed his first metropolitan double at Sandown last week.

“I tried to get a three kilo kid but they were all snapped up before the nominations even came out,” Brown said.

“You’ve got to be quick these days but Jake is riding well and his claim is important.”

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