Kenedna arrived late for Coolmore Legacy win

The Maher and Eustace trained Kenedna under John Allen made a pile driving run through the middle of the field to claim the $1m, Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday reaching the lead only in the final metres of the race.

Keneda and John Allen snatch victory, photo

The race changed complexion rapidly over those final strides of Randwick’s turf after the $3.60 favourite Alizze under Hugh Bowman looked to have the race in her grasp 200m from the line. Then the attacks came from both sides of the Group 1 winning mare and she was swamped.

Dixie Blossoms and Christian Reith with Unforgotten and James McDonald came strongly and the finish, for a moment, appeared to be theirs, however from 11th at the 400m Allen had Kenedna storming down the middle of the track. They arrived just in time to flash past the other two and claim the win by a half-neck.

Dixie Blossoms (Street Sense), in her last race before retirement, and Reith kept second over Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock) and McDonald with the margin a short head. Miss Siska was fourth, Spanish Reef fifth and Alize was sixth.

The time was 1.35.31 on  the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 35.14. Kenedna paid $26.00 on fixed odds and $24.70 on the tote.

The five-year-old Not A Single Doubt mare won the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes over 2000m at Flemington in November and she came north to Melbourne off third in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes over 1600m at The Valley on March 19th.

“She has been knocking on the door for a while, Group 1 placed. We thought we would bring her in here, fresh horse on the scene and target this race and go onto Queensland. She came in great order this horse. A great job by the team. That is what it is all about," said co-trainer Ciaron Maher

“Nearly forgot Johnny Allen. He knows this horse probably better than I do. He does plenty of work for me. I would say he will be doing a lot more on the back of this,” he said.

John Allen all smiles, photo

“We had to weave a bit of a passage but she is so tough and so genuine, she really stuck her head out for me late. I never thought I was really going to get there, I thought I was going to run a place. That last 100 yards though she really surged,” said Allen.

“It was a great effort by the mare. She is just so genuine. She is definitely one of my favourites and anyone who has had anything to do with her have always been a fan of her.

“I have had a great bit of luck with her. She was a very good three-year-old. She did not come up as a four-year-old so they semi-retired her. They decided to get her back in work. She won a Group 2 during the spring and to win a Group 1 today was unbelievable," he said.

Kenedna, out of the Falbrav mare Miss Dodwell, was winning for the eighth time from 24 starts. With seven placings she has earned stakes of $1,455,895 for owners  Mr M Johnston, Mr B J Kirkwood, Mr T A Ginnane, Mr C A Roylance, Mr T Mills, Mr A J Crouch, Mr T Wilson, Mr S A Johnston, Mr S A Miller and Mr A S Ingersole.

Coolmore Legacy, photo finish picture ATC

What the beaten jockeys said:

Hugh Bowman (Alizee): “She ran her usual honest race she just found the mile a bit far.”

Blake Shinn (Prompt Response): “Ran a game race like she usually does. She was honest all the way to the line and didn’t get beaten far. It was a good effort.”

Glyn Schofield (Daysee Doom): “Problem spot early, got swamped late.”

Christian Reith (Dixie Blossoms): “She ran courageous today. Just backing up she raced a little bit more dour in the run but she was super. We hit the front with 50m to go and the winner was able to get up on the inside and pipped us on the post. But super proud of this mare and she’s done nothing but great things for her owners.”

Corey Brown (Invincible Gem): “She wasn’t her normal self today. I reckon she’s come to the end of the road this time in. She wasn’t too bad but was in a bad mood.”

Damien Oliver (Oregon's Day): “She had a nice enough run but she was below par today.”

James McDonald (Unforgotten): “She tried her heart out. I was very proud of her efforts. Got a long way back and hit the line strong.”

Michael Walker (Consensus): “She just pulled too hard. I was just a passenger today.”

Tommy Berry (Eckstein): “She had a really tough run last start and she’s had a long campaign, she’s probably just come to the end of it.”

Kerrin McEvoy (Princess Posh): “She ran great. We went back to offset the barrier and finished with a great flurry. Just had to give away too much start.”

Tim Clark (Sedanzer): “I thought it was an improved performance up against the best mares around so she’s getting there slowly.”

Mark Zahra (Spanish Reef): “Ran super. She was playing up in the gates so missed it but hit the line really well.”

Brenton Avdulla (Dyslexic): “She was going backwards before the corner so off her game today.”

Craig Williams (Amphitrite): “I think she’ll benefit from the experience of going first time under race conditions right handed. But by saying that she was on the outside of the winner and she stayed on nicely but to her best if she finds her normal acceleration she fights the finish out.”

Sam Clipperton (Fundamentalist): “Things didn’t go right in that race for her. She faded out but she’s had a good preparation. She deserved a Group 1 win.”

Josh Parr (Nakeeta Jane): “Stellar effort to come from the back of the field. Just possibly a little bit too hard of a task.”