After scoring a nice consolation win for connections in Saturday’s $175,000 Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich, Gary Kennewell’s Adelaide raider Conservatorium will stay on in the sunshine state chasing more Queensland Winter Racing Carnival success.
The Royal Academy five-year-old narrowly missed out on a start in the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) two weeks back but was able to atone somewhat with their good two length effort over Meet George in the Eye Liner.
It was another nice run from the Group 1 The Goodwood runner-up who had earlier come within a short half head of success in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm when second to the Peter Snowden-trained Galah.
The victory was just another positive step from a horse Kennewell has watched develop from a small statured youngster into a genuine Group type.
“He started off a bit weedy but he’s really strengthened up in the past 12 months and turned into a really nice horse,” his trainer said.
After their Ipswich Cup Day victory, where they overcame a hefty 59kg, their Morphettville-based trainer Kennewell said there were a number of options in Queensland for them over the coming weeks.
One is this weekend’s $175,000 Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) on Tattersall’s Tiara Day for which they will be nominated, while Kennewell also hasn’t ruled out the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) Saturday week at the Sunshine Coast.
“I’ll nominate him for the Healy Stakes next Saturday and if I decide to run him I won’t need to do much with him because he’s rock-hard fit,” Kennewell said.
“There’s also the Glasshouse at Caloundra the following week so I’ll definitely be giving it plenty of thought.”
Kennewell was thrilled to see them win the Eye Liner with such ease after the close call in the QTC Cup.
“Everyone including me thought he’d won the QTC Cup and it cost him a run in the Stradbroke,” he said on Saturday.
“I was glad we didn’t need a photo finish today. I couldn’t go through that again.”
Following the winter Conservatorium will head back home and prepare for a spring and summer campaign where they could appear in Melbourne before their grand final in the lucrative $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23.
“We got a free ticket out of the Goodwood to run in the Winterbottom and he’ll probably have one lead-up run in Melbourne beforehand,” Kennewell said.
The horse ran in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes and was a brave fifth when beaten two and a half lengths by super sprinter Barakey in the Perth Summer Racing Carnival classic.
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