Diminutive filly Kenedna dispelled any stamina doubts, surviving a protest, to win in the Group Two Roses (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Stewards had to adjudicate on a protest lodged by jockey James Doyle on runner-up Oklahoma Girl against Kenedna for interference on three occasions in the straight.
Doyle told stewards the interference cost him three-quarters of a length, believing it cost him victory.
Winning jockey John Allen did not dispute Kenedna had impeded Oklahoma Girl slightly but said the interference wasn’t enough to cost the runner-up the race.
After deliberating for several minutes, stewards dismissed the protest.
“We acknowledge there was three distinct bumps in the straight but we don’t believe, considering the margin of a short neck, it warrants a reversal of the result,” chief steward Allan Reardon said.
Trainer Darren Weir admitted harbouring some doubts whether Kenedna was a genuine stayer after she finished second to Egg Tart in the Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 6.
“There was a little concern there after Adelaide when I thought she peaked on her run 50 yards out, so I wasn’t sure about 2000 metres,” he said.
“I enjoy watching horses second time at the trip to see if they are looking for further and today she suggested that she does want more ground.”
Weir said what Kenedna lacks in size she more than compensates with ability and determination.
“There’s not much of her but she’s a very relaxed filly and very honest,” Weir said.
“Ideally you’d like to see her settle a bit closer in the run but she’s got a really good will-to-win.”
Weir showered Allen with praise after he timed the finishing run of Kenedna, the $3 Luxbet.com favourite, perfectly.
“The plan was to be a pair closer but he’s such a good jockey that when things don’t go to plan he seems to make the right moves at the right times,” Weir said.
“He works hard behind the scenes and he’s not a bludger, so I can’t thank him enough.”
Kenedna will attempt to become the third filly after Ethereal (2001) and Scarlett Lady (2011) to complete the Roses – Queensland Oaks double.
After Saturday’s win, Kenedna is the $4 equal favourite with CrownBet for the Oaks, with Egg Tart.
Photo by Darren Winningham (horseracingonly.com.au)