Trainer Ken Keys thought he was being a bit cheeky nominating Spanish Reef for a Group One race in Sydney during the autumn carnival.
But after a dominant win in Friday night’s Group Two Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley, Keys is ready to pack his bags and head north.
Ridden by Mark Zahra, Spanish reef was sent out the $2.35 favourite in beating Samovare ($2.60) by 2-3/4 lengths with Flying Jess ($20) 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Spanish Reef will now head to Randwick to contest the Group One Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) on April 14.
The four-year-old is unbeaten in three runs this campaign graduating from a 1400m victory first-up to a Group Three win at her last start at Flemington on March 10.
Keys said his aim at the start of the campaign was to win a black-type race with the mare.
He said the mare was finally maturing after being almost embarrassed with the way she presented in the mounting yard at Flemington last winter.
“I think after Sydney we’ll give her a break and look at the spring,” Keys said.
“I want to keep at a mile for the time being but when she gets out to 2000 metres and even a mile and a half I think you’ll find she’s even better.”
Spanish Reef’s win on Friday night was a second success in the Group Two race for Keys who scored with Flushed in 2001.
Claim $300 in Racing Bonus Bets when you deposit $250!*