Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir threw his stellar debut winner Ken’s Dream into the deep end with his first city run at Moonee Valley on Saturday, the smart colt handling the pressure taking out the McKenzie Stakes 2016
The beautifully-bred son of Dream Ahead blitzed his first run at Echuca on a Heavy (9) track on August 7 winning the three-year-old’s maiden by a runaway nine lengths.
He had to handle a tougher field of rivals on Saturday in the $120,000 Listed Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) but showed he was a colt with a future saluting for the punters.
Ken’s Dream did enough on debut to earn top spot in betting for his first Black-Type assignment and jockey Dean Yendall retained the ride.
Original plans were to sit about one back and let something else lead the McKenzie Stakes field around, but Ken’s Dream ($2.30) flew out of the barriers and Yendall allowed him to roll along and take up front running.
The up-and-coming youngster held his lead all the way to the line eventually getting past the post a length ahead of the also promising Dam Ready ($4.40) from the Lindsay Park stables, a More Than Ready gelding whose last run was in mid-March when fourth in the Adelaide Magic Millions Classic.
Finishing off the McKenzie Stakes trifecta a further one and a half-lengths away third was Throssell ($5.50), a previously undefeated Black-Type winner prepared by Ciaron Maher who showed-up well in his resuming run.
It was a lovely late effort from Ken’s Dream who was challenged by Dam Ready over the closing stages, but the winner kicked away and answered his rival with more in the tank after dictating the race to win on his own terms.
“The plan was to be outside the leader, but he began so quick I used my initiative and let him go where he was happy,” Yendall said post-win.
“He was really solid through the line. He’s still new and learning but he does everything in his stride.
“He’s so adaptable.”
Weir said the tough ask now was finding out whether or not to race on and pace out today’s McKenzie Stakes winner’s runs over the spring, or send him for a break to mature.
One thing the record-breaking Weir is sure of is that the horse is set to live up to his breeding and race out over 1400m and maybe even a mile as he matures.
“He’ll definitely be a seven furlong horse and he might even get out a bit further than that. He’s a lovely relaxed horse,” Weir said.
That brings into the equation a possible run in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic Weir has Ken’s Dream nominated for.
Get the right price on Ken’s Dream next race and check out his juicy all-in price in the futures 2016 Caulfield Guineas odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 McKenzie Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 5 – 20/08/2016
|1||8||KEN’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||–||5||55kg||$2.30F|
|2||3||DAM READY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Currie||1L||6||55kg||$4.40|
|3||1||THROSSELL||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||2.75L||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|4||6||DEAL MASTER||Leon & Troy Corstens||Dwayne Dunn||5.75L||1||55kg||$21|
|5||7||VERSTAPPEN||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||6.5L||3||55kg||$5|
|6||9||WIMBORNE||Robbie Laing||Kevin Forrester||8L||4||55kg||$41|
|7||5||BAFFERT||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||20L||7||55kg||$41|
|–||4||CHINA DREAM||Mick Price||Michael Walker||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||RAMPAGE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damian Lane||–||0||–||–|