Another upset stakes win from the Jim and Greg Lee-trained galloper Keepin’ The Dream has kept a possible Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign alive for the rising seven-year-old.
Keeper gelding Keepin’ The Dream ($12) scored their second black-type win for the year when beating home the Chris Waller-trained Altered Boy ($7.50) by a length in the $150,000 Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
Gai Waterhouse’s Ajax Stakes winner Pureness ($4.80) finished a further three-quarters of a length back for third after leading in the early stages, while $4 favourite Mr Unforgettable was anything but finishing a well-beaten seventh.
“In the run he was always going to win and that’s the first time I have been able to say that about him,” Jim Lee, who co-trains Keepin’ The Dream with brother Greg, said.
Known around the tracks as a ‘giant-killer’ when it comes to the country and provincial stakes races in New South Wales, Keepin’ The Dream added the Rowley Mile to his list of wins that also includes the 2010 Gosford, Scone and Hawkesbury Gold Cups along with this year’s Group 3 Newmarket Handicap (1400m) that he won last month.
Incredibly, Keepin’ The Dream boosted their total earnings to over $630,000 despite not having won on a metro track to date.
“This horse is absolutely flying,” Lee said.
“We have never had him going better.
“I don’t know what I can put that down to, maybe it’s a maturity thing with the horse.
“He’s always had the ability but now he’s racing in the best form of his life.”
Connections will next start Keepin’ The Dream in Scone Cup again, seeking back-to-back wins in the $175,000 Listed mile feature on Friday May 13.
“The Scone Cup is the one we are after again,” Lee said.
“He won it last year but he’s going even better now.”
Success in this year’s Scone Cup and the continuation of good form from Keepin’ The Dream could see them sent up to Queensland for a stint at the Group features of the Brisbane Winter Carnival over the coming month.
“We are thinking of taking him to Brisbane but we’ll get over Scone first,” Jim Lee said.
“If he comes through the Scone Cup in good order, we might look at Brisbane for the winter carnival.”
On Saturday Keepin’ The Dream was again ridden by regular jockey Peter Wells, aboard for all five of the horse’s starts this year.
Wells is hoping he will get the opportunity to maintain his association with the quality galloper and launch a metropolitan riding career of his own.
“It is enormous to get on a good horse again and be able to stick with him,” Wells said.
“The thing that means the most to me is they (the Lee brothers) have stuck with me.
“Hopefully I can keep on him for a long time to come.”