The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
Trainer Ciaron Maher found himself back in the winners’ circle on Saturday as jockey John Allen rode home Kenedna to claim the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m).
The five-year-old mare by Not A Single Doubt was a $26.00 chance prior to the race but looked every bit a winner flashing home late at the line. Saturday’s start at Randwick marked Kenedna’s fourth at Group 1 level, while the win was a strong result after placing third in the Group 2 Sunlike Stakes at Moonee Valley last month.
Maher, now a two-time Coolmore winner following Azkadellia’s victory in 2016, was delighted with the win, and admits he always knew his horse was a chance after finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks at Morphettville in 2017.
“This horse has been knocking on the door for a little while, she was Group 1 placed and we thought we’d bring her here, sort of the fresh horse on the scene and we really targeted this race instead of going to Queensland,” Maher said following the win.
In what a fast run race, Kenedna’s win was made only more impressive by finding an extra gear to beat home the charging Dixie Blossoms. There was no such luck for race-favourite Alizee though, as last year’s Coolmore winner had the run of the race only to fade over the final furlong.
“John Allen knows this horse probably than I do, he got there right on the line so full credit to him” Maher went on to say.
For Allen, Saturday’s win marked his fourth Group 1 victory, something he credits to the horses demeanour and genuine turn of foot.
“We had to weave a bit of a passage but she is so tough and so genuine, she really stuck her head out for me late. I never thought I was really going to get there, I thought I was going to run a place. That last 100 yards though she really surged” Allen said after the race.
Last month’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic winner Dixie Blossoms battled on well for second, while Unforgotten wasn’t disgraced placing third for the second time this prep.
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