Wide draw for Keen Array in Carlyon

A wide barrier draw in the Carlyon Stakes could prompt a change of plans for Keen Array.

Tom Dabernig said he and co-trainers David and Ben Hayes would consider whether Keen Array took his place from barrier 15 at Moonee Valley or was saved for the Group Three Heath a week later at Caulfield.

“He’s drawn wide and we’re just going to have a look at the race first before making a decision there,” Dabernig said.

“We’re just keeping our options open and we’ll have a look at it.

“At the Valley over 1000 metres, it’s not impossible from a wide gate because it’s a straight run down to the bend. But if it looks tough from the gate, we can always wait and there’s a nice option on the 27th.”

Keen Array won four of his six starts as a spring three-year-old including the Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield and was second to Japonisme in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.


He failed to live up to expectations during autumn when he was unplaced in the Group One Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap.

“I think it was the preparation of a horse that just didn’t come up,” Dabernig said.

He said the four-year-old had a good spell and he believed he was ready to show his true form this time.

Dabernig says they have not ruled out stepping him up to the 1400 metres of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

“We thought he was going to make the progression to being a serious Group One horse and he ran second in the Group One on Derby Day last year, and just got on the wrong part of the track,” Dabernig said.

“You never really know until you see them under the pressure of racing, but he seems to have come back and is going as well as he ever has.”

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