Consensus primed for Hollindale

Consensus winning the Gr.2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley. - Quentin Lang
Consensus winning the Gr.2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

Quentin Lang

Auckland trainer Stephen McKee has given rise to Consensus' chances in Saturday's Gr.2 A D Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast, describing her condition as much superior to how she fronted for last year's race.

The Postponed mare finished seventh in last year's Hollindale under rider Alysha Collett, beaten 4-1/2 lengths behind Oregon's Day, and while the seven-year-old comes into the race after finishing last in the Gr.1 Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last month, McKee has flagged an improved performance.

"We came up for this race last year and she was just about over the top but she's arrived here in much better order this time so hopefully she'll go well," McKee said.

"She had a lighter summer this season and she's in a lot better shape. She's stayed down in Sydney since her last start and just got here this (Thursday) morning about 4 o'clock. She is going really well."

McKee has removed the blinkers from Consensus’ gear in a bid to prevent the over-racing that led to her undoing in the Legacy Stakes.

"That wasn't ideal the way she raced last time. She just basically bolted. She just took her hook and was off," McKee said.

Consensus' prior form was outstanding, easily winning the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) before adding the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at New Plymouth, finishing third in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki on an unsuitable slow track then winning the Gr.2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

It's only the prospect of a rain-affected track that has McKee wary for this weekend, though the track was rated a Good4 on Thursday.

"There's been a few showers today and the track's looking like it could be a little damp which won't be ideal for her. We'd want the track to be pretty reasonable but this is the race we've come up for. She's well and we think she should go a good race."

McKee, who indicated instructions would be for rider Mark Du Plessis to ride positively from barrier one, said it was unlikely Consensus would stay for the Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 18 despite the Group One winner holding a nomination.

"She'll more than likely head home after this run," McKee said.

However, McKee could yet have another runner at the carnival, with Savabeel colt Hasabro on trial for a trip to the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 when he tackles Saturday's BCD Group 2200, a Rating 82 event, at Te Rapa.

Hasabro campaigned in Victoria in the spring and while he didn't contest the Derby there, he has shown his staying potential with two good 1600m runs before a stout-finishing last-start fourth placing in the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie last month.

"We just want to test him this weekend and if he can run well in that sort of company, we could look at bringing him over for the Derby," McKee said.

"We're really pleased with him. We'd just like to see him be competitive in that race against those tough, older stayers." - NZ Racing Desk


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