Scheelite out to extend unbeaten streak in Vain Stakes

Cranbourne trainers Ken and Kasey Keys have a healthy opinion of unbeaten colt Scheelite who will put his reputation on the line first-up at Caulfield.

Against six opponents, Scheelite runs in the Vain Stakes (1100m) on Saturday where he will be pitted against Blue Diamond Stakes winner Little Brose and Golden Slipper runner-up Cylinder.

Scheelite started his career with a win at Sandown in April then two weeks later scored at Flemington but the upcoming spring has been the focus of the father-and-daughter training operation who are in search of their first Group 1 win.

The Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October is the ultimate aim, although, with a bit of persuading from Kasey, Scheelite is also entered for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

“You have to live the dream,” Kasey Keys said.

Saturday’s outing will give the trainers an idea where they stand in the pecking order.

Keys said it was an exciting time to be getting back to the track with the best horse from their yard since Soul Patch, third in both the Victoria Derby and Australian Guineas during the 2019-20 season.

“We’re pretty happy to get him back on the track,” Keys said.

“We probably would have liked a little bit longer out, but it wasn’t to be, but he’s come back stronger, and I think he’s got a bit taller as well.

“We’re up in grade on Saturday and it will give us an idea of where we are going. I don’t know how they (the opposition) have been going, but I’m very happy with him.

“He’s ticked all the boxes for me, so I’m happy.”

Providing Scheelite gets through Saturday’s race unscathed and pulls up well and is happy, the Group 3 H D F McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 2 is likely to be next on the agenda on a path to the Guineas.

Keys said she was not fazed by the small field that could make the Vain Stakes a tactical contest, but she has full faith in Daniel Stackhouse who has been aboard the colt in his two wins and has headed to Cranbourne to ride the colt in gallops ahead of his return.

“We’re lucky he’s versatile,” Keys said.

“He’s won from the back (on debut after missing the start) and from the front.

“Stacky has been coming down and galloping him and those little one percenters, hopefully they can make a difference.”

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