Darren Weir’s decision to bypass a Group Two race in Sydney has paid off with Kenjorwood scoring a fighting win at Flemington.
Kenjorwood was an acceptor in the Villiers Stakes at Randwick on Saturday but was scratched after drawing barrier 16.
Instead Kenjorwood lined up on home soil in the Chanteclair Handicap (1600m), landing a narrow victory.
Ridden by apprentice Jye McNeil, Kenjorwood ($6) scored a long neck victory over Artie’s Shore ($51) with the $2.70 favourite Mihany two lengths away third.
“We were going to head to Sydney and if he had have drawn a barrier we would have been up there,” Weir said.
“He drew wide so that’s the reason we’re down here.”
Kenjorwood was a last-start second to Mihany at Pakenham on December 3 but Weir said the gelding stripped fitter on Saturday and appreciated the weight turn around in his favour.
“Until today he hadn’t been fit enough to take advantage of racing on the speed and toughening it out,” Weir said.
Long term plans could involve Kenjorwood joining the exodus of Victorian-trained horses to the Magic Millions meeting on the Gold Coast next month, although his next assignment is likely to be the Lord Stakes at Caulfield on December 26.
“I think it will be a perfect race for him,” Weir said.
McNeil moved to within one win of outriding his metropolitan claim with his victory on Kenjorwood.
He comes out of his time on January 2.