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Keen Array ready to strike at Caulfield

Ben Hayes
Trainer Ben Hayes hopes Keen Array can show his best when he defends the Testa Rossa Stakes.

Lindsay Park is confident it has Keen Array back to the form that produced a stakes race victory at Caulfield 12 months ago.

Keen Array won last year’s Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and contests the race again on Saturday as topweight.

He won the Listed race with 54.5kg last year and rises to 58kg this time.

Following the 2016 Testa Rossa, the gelding went on to win again at Listed level before the stable pushed him to higher grades.

After running seventh in the Darley Classic at Flemington, Keen Array headed to Perth where he finished midfield in the Winterbottom Stakes.

The Perth trip took its toll on Keen Array whose autumn campaign did not get off the ground.

Co-trainer Ben Hayes said Keen Array needed the break to overcome some problems.

“The big break is what suited him and he’s back racing well,” Hayes said.

“Riding him quietly has worked and I think he’ll run really well in a tough race.”

Saturday’s race will be Keen Array’s fourth run for the spring.

He flopped first-up on heavy ground at Sandown before finishing just behind the placegetters at his past two starts at Moonee Valley.

At his latest outing he finished fifth to Brave Smash, conceding him 3.5kg.

On Saturday there is 1kg between them.

“Brave Smash I think will be hard to beat but I expect him (Keen Array) to run well,” Hayes said.

“He went around them last time and was still strong through the line.

“He looks like he’s back to his old self.”

Lindsay Park will also saddle Fast ‘N’ Rocking in Saturday’s sprint.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking hasn’t raced since finishing 12th at Caulfield in April.

“He’s Group One-placed multiple times and he’s trialled well at home leading into this race,” Hayes said.

“He looks bright and enthusiastic and can run a cheeky race fresh.”

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