Dual Group One winner Kenedna will have her blinkers back on in the Group Two Feehan Stakes at The Valley as Ciaron Maher follows a familiar pattern with the mare.
Kenedna did enough in her season return in the P B Lawrence Stakes over 1400m to have her co-trainer Maher convinced the mare is on target for her major spring aims.
Maher is targeting the $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 with Kenedna but he also believes Saturday’s 1600m weight-for-age event is a race the mare can make her presence felt in on the way.
Kenedna did not wear blinkers when she resumed over a distance short of her best when seventh in the P B Lawrence on August 17, won by Mystic Journey.
“Her run was very good first-up,” Maher said.
“Her last sectional was quite strong.
“She ran well second-up at The Valley over a mile last preparation and it’s a similar type scenario. She seems in very good order.”
Kenedna flashed home from last for a close third in the Group Two Sunline Stakes (1600m) at The Valley second-up last campaign before going on to win the Group One Coolmore Legacy Stakes in Sydney at her next start and the Group One Doomben Cup in Brisbane two starts later.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, said the stable used the same method last preparation by putting blinkers on Kenedna for her second run.
“She generally fires second-up,” he said.
“First-up she just hasn’t got the turn of foot over the 1400 metres but over the mile she can travel that bit easier and she’s in pretty good order.”
Maher believes the Feehan fits in perfectly in his spring plans for Kenedna.
“I didn’t want to go to the Makybe Diva Stakes and I love the spacing,” he said.
“I wanted to give her a nice spacing after her first-up run, the same as we did last time.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s ticking along.”
Kenedna, to be ridden by her regular jockey John Allen, was at $10 on Thursday with Homesman the $4.60 favourite for his first start since he finished second in last year’s Caulfield Cup.