Keats to repeat in the Lord Stakes

Having broken a drought of more than a year at Werribee, Keats will chase back-to-back wins when he contests Tuesday’s Lord Stakes at Caulfield.

The tenacious on-pacer recorded his first win since October 2022 in the Werribee Cup (1600m) on December 10 at his third start for the campaign and trainer Gavin Bedggood is happy with the way he has come through it.

“He was able to go down the beach for a couple of days and get a bit of R&R after the Werribee Cup and he is a horse that races best on the fresher side,” Bedggood said.

The Werribee Cup win snapped an 11-race run of outs for Keats, but the imported son of Galileo did run five minor placings in that period, including a third placing in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) in February.

He also finished second in the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) and third in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at his two starts preceding the Werribee Cup.

Keats will start from the second-widest alley in the $175,000 Listed Lord Stakes (1700m), where he will again clash with Werribee Cup runner-up Junipal, with classy mare Zennzella and rejuvenated gelding Ain’Tnodeeldun among his other rivals.

Linda Meech retains the ride after winning the Werribee Cup at her first ride on the gelding.

The seven-year-old is again a chance to head to the Peter Young Stakes later this campaign, but Bedggood said that is ambitious as he was likely to get this campaign.

“They’re the sort of races he’ll head to, providing he’s racing well enough,” he said.

“We’ll head to the Carlyon Cup, the St George (Peter Young Stakes), those sort of races over the autumn again. They’re realistic targets again.

“Last year he was kicking off and it was all going well on an All-Star Mile preparation, but this preparation will be aiming a lot lower than that.”

Keats is likely to head to the $300,000 Coastal Classic (1700m) at Geelong on January 6 after the Lord Stakes.

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