Co-trainer David Hayes’s post-race reaction was to bypass a clash with star colt Exosphere in the Coolmore Stud Stakes despite Keen Array’s impressive win in the $350,000 Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Wednesday.
“Where we go next we’ll probably think about it but there a lovely set weights (and penalties) race at the Valley (Red Anchor Stakes on Cox Plate day),” Hayes, who trains Keen Array in partnership with Tom Dabernig, said.
“I think he could be a bit of a freak at the Valley.
“I think we might think about taking on the very, very best next prep.”
Hayes later conceded he shouldn’t “make raceday decisions” and Keen Array’s next start would be in the Group III Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) “or the Coolmore, one or the other”.
Keen Array and Mogador settled in the back half of the six horse field with John O’Shea’s Godolphin colt trailing the eventual winner at the tail of the field. Mogador’s stablemate Haptic led the field up and was in no hurry in the first half of the race until things started to hot up approaching the home turn.
Keen Array entered the straight four-wide and Mogador lost his back when the former sprinted, but the two classy three-year-olds stretched out strongly in the straight, reeling in the leaders inside the final 200m but although closing, Mogador was unable to bridge the gap on Keen Array.
“It did look a two-horse race and turned out a two horse race,” Hayes said. “Damian (Lane) showed lovely poise and produced him when it mattered.
“He’s a horse with a big, big future.
“I know John O’Shea’s got a very big opinion of Mogador and he had to be at his absolute best to beat him. I think both horses have got huge potential.”
Keen Array ($2.30 fav) defeated Mogador ($4.40) by a long-neck with Haptic ($5) a further three-quarters of a length away in third.
O’Shea said after the race he was satisfied with Mogador’s effort but his fate was decided on Monday when drawing the outside gate in the field.
“He just ended up a pair too far back,” he said. “Sectionally, the horse ran great but change the barrier, change the result.
“The winner did a good job but if we were there and he was where we were – different result.”