Endean Rose exciting Iain Kennedy

New Zealand horse Endean Rose
Endean Rose in action at Matamata. (Race Images)

FIRST impressions can count for everything and Endean Rose quickly won over Rotorua trainer Iain Kennedy.

The diminutive mare has subsequently won six races under his guidance and turned in a career-best performance in Sunday’s Group One Livamol Classic.

The daughter of champion sire Savabeel exceeded expectations at Hawke’s Bay where the horse finished third behind Wait A Sec and Gingernuts in the weight-for-age feature.

Kennedy said the performance was somewhat of a shock to the stable.

“We were hoping to get in the top six, it looked pretty tough and ambitious but she did us proud,” Kennedy said.

“Our plan was to go forward and get her to relax and give her a chance. Cameron (Lammas) did a beautiful job on her.”

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Kennedy races Endean Rose with Rotorua friends Andrew Burton and Linda Hunt, the former having purchased the horse privately after it was passed in at Karaka in 2011.

“He got her quite cheaply. She was tiny and it was before Savabeel had really hit his straps,” Kennedy said.

“My wife Linda and I went to Andrew’s place and walked through the paddock to look at yearlings and we really liked Endean Rose.

“Andrew started laughing and said she’s not a yearling, she’s a two-year-old. She stood out to us and we’ve just taken her along quietly and given her plenty of time.

“We’ll sit down and look at all the options now. We’re enjoying racing her for now and she’ll definitely be put in foal next year.”

The Group Three OMF Stakes at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day and the Group One Zabeel Classic back at Auckland on Boxing Day are races likely to be placed on Endean Rose’s programme.

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