Trainer Ken Keys doesn’t set the bar too high for his horses and all he wants for talented mare Spanish Reef is some black-type.
A first-up winner at Flemington last month, Spanish Reef runs in the Group Three Schweppervescence Trophy (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Her performance will determine how swiftly she heads to Sydney for the carnival or whether she remains in Melbourne.
“First she’s got to show she’s good enough to go,” Keys said.
“Hopefully she might tick that box off tomorrow.”
Spanish Reef just failed to obtain black-type last campaign when fourth in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley last spring, but Keys said that performance set her up well for her current campaign.
The four-year-old is nominated for the Coolmore Legacy at Randwick during The Championships, but Keys said likely targets were the Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley or the Epona Stakes at Rosehill.
His concern ahead of Saturday’s race is the 1400m.
“She’s gone on with it since her first-up win but to me she’s most vulnerable at the 1400 metres,” Keys said.
“I think the further we go the better, but then the opposition gets stronger also.
“She’s more of a miler, 2000 metre horse than a 1400 metre horse so hopefully she gets a good ride, some good luck and everything works.”
Keys also runs Syd’s Coin in the Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes and is hoping the two-year-old turns his form around.
Successful on debut at Bendigo, Syd’s Coin didn’t appear comfortable when fourth at Caulfield on February 21.
“He seemed unbalanced the whole race and didn’t seem to handle Caulfield,” Keys said.
“Hopefully that’s the excuse.
“We think he’s a horse of good potential and I think the 1400 metres and the bigger track at Flemington will suit.”