Group One winner Miss Keepsake returned to the winner’s stall for the first time in almost two years with an explosive performance in Sunday’s Bert Lillye Memorial Handicap at Kembla Grange.
The five-year-old resumed from a 12 week break and after settling off the speed she rattled home to defeat Salade by two lengths with three-quarters of a length to third placed Ramsays Curse.
It was Miss Keepsake’s first win since she claimed the Group One Queensland Oaks in early May 201 when prepared by Andrew Scott in New Zealand.
Miss Keepsake joined Joe Pride’s Warwick Farm team at the start of last year and was placed in three stakes races during 2011.
Her winning time of 1:15.63 at Kembla for the 1300m was just over .2s outside stablemate Neeson’s track record set when he won the same race two years ago.
Jockey Christian Reith was confident Miss Keepsake was ready to produce something nearing her best after riding her in a recent barrier trial at Warwick Farm.
“Her trial the other week was awesome so after that we were very confident today as long as she put it all together,” Reith said.
“She had just been lacking confidence but she raced with a lot of it today.
“If she keeps that going she’s going to be in for a good campaign.”
The victory brought up a treble for Reith at the south coast track’s premier meeting featuring the Keith Nolan Classic.