Chris Waller’s smart four-year-old Kelinni will use this Saturday’s Colin Stephen Quality Handicap 2012 at Rosehill Gardens as a stepping stone towards another more prestigious Sydney Spring Racing Carnival feature, the gelding eyeing off a run in The Metropolitan next month.
The son of Refuse To Bend was one of only seven gallopers nominated for this year’s edition of the $125,000 Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap (2400m), entries for which have been extended until 11:00am today with Strawberry Boy already a late nominee.
A winner of six of their 15 career starts to date, Kelinni is currently rated a $34 chance in the early markets for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) which runs at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, Saturday October 6.
After back-to-back wins at Warwick Farm in August Kelinni was last seen running less than a length away fourth to Julienas in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) on September 7, and if both accept they will come face to face with their last start conqueror again on Saturday.
“He is coming to the end of his preparation,” Waller said of Kelinni who could be retired at the end of this prep.
“But if he won the Colin Stephen, and won impressively, we would have to think about giving him a go in the Metropolitan.”
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas meanwhile turned the tables on Kelinni in the Wyong Gold Cup having previously run second to them at Warwick Farm on August 25, the imported Cape Cross five-year-old also The Metropolitan-bound paying $21 to win Saturday week’s Group 1 feature.
Other notable 2012 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap nominations include the former Rob Heathcote-trained Racing Heart now prepared in Sydney by Joe Pride, David Payne’s Praecido coming off a Kingston Town Stakes fourth, and Kembla Grange stayer Planet Purple.
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2012 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 29/09/2012
|2||FIUMICINO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||95|
|3||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||93|
|4||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||88|
|5||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||63|
|6||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||91|
|7||RACING HEART||Joseph Pride||–|