Keepin’ The Dream, invariably unfashionable with punters, has the statistics on board to say he will revel in his role as a feature race underdog at Hawkesbury.
That’s the opinion of one of his biggest fans, co-trainer Greg Lee, as Keepin’ The Dream prepares for more provincial feature success in the $150,000 Rowley Mile on Saturday.
“You know he ran the third fastest last 400 (metres) in the Doncaster (Mile),” Lee, who trains in partnership with his brother Jim, said.
“He finished eighth and he ran a creditable race.
“Rarely has he let us down. He’s been a terrific horse for the stable.”
Keepin’ The Dream is closing in on $500,000 in career stakes – a bankroll achieved without a win on a metropolitan track.
“He was first across the line in the Sky High (Stakes) a few years ago but he lost it on a positive (swab),” Lee said.
“I don’t really care that he hasn’t won a race in the city.
“We have set him for races like the Rowley Mile and the provincial and country Cups.”
Four of Keepin’ The Dreams six wins have been at stakes level and include the 2009 Hawkesbury Cup as well as last year’s Scone and Gosford Cups before he stormed home to take out this year’s Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle.
Each win has been at double figure odds, including a $41 Gosford Cup boilover under the care of fellow co-trainers Pat and Wayne Webster as the Lees served a ban from training.
Keepin’ The Dream has drawn in close in gate five for the Rowley Mile but Lee said it was unlikely there would be a change to the horse’s normal racing pattern of drifting back off the speed.
“We used to ride him forward early in his career but we’ve worked out over time that he is better to do his own thing in a race,” Lee said.
“It would be silly to change now.”
Bookmakers have shunned Keepin’ The Dream as a genuine chance in the Rowley Mile with TAB Sportsbet posting the six-year-old as a $15 chance in its first markets.
He has been steady at that quote as pre-post shoppers have shown their hand with the Chris Waller-trained Foreteller an $8.50 to $6.50 mover.
An expected heavy track poses no concern with Lee saying: “The heavier the better.
“Just as long as it isn’t shifty. It worries him when the track is shifting because he can’t get his proper footing.”