A crack at the Group One Newmarket Handicap looms likely for Ken’s Dream after the four-year-old gelding impressed again over the straight course at Flemington.
The Darren Weir-trained Ken’s Dream won an 1100m open handicap at Flemington second-up this campaign last month before finishing fourth in the Group Two Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.
He returned to Flemington on Saturday for the Royal Ascot Handicap (1200m) and put his case forward for a 2018 Newmarket Handicap tilt with a comfortable 1-1/4 length win.
Apprentice Ethan Brown settled Ken’s Dream back in the field and bided his time until unleashing the gelding on the outside with 300m to go.
Ken’s Dream ($4.40) quickly put his rivals away, hitting the front approaching the 100m while Lucky Liberty ($17) also closed well from last to finish second.
Prima, the $201 outsider, was another neck away third.
Ken’s Dream firmed from $26 to $18 for next month’s Newmarket over the straight 1200m at Flemington.
“I would say he would have to have a go at it,” Weir said.
“There’s no reason not to.”