Personal winning the 2020 Kennedy Oaks (Image: Racing Photos)
Many punters will be hoping Kennedy Oaks winner Personal can return to the winner's stall at Flemington almost four months to the day after her Group 1 triumph, when the Lindsay Park-trained filly tackles the $200,000 G2 TAB Kewney Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock kicked-off her autumn preparation by finishing second in the The TAB Vanity, and co-trainer Ben Hayes is confident she has taken the necessary improvement into her second-up assignment.
"We're thrilled with her, she has really come on from her first-up run," Hayes said of the Coolmore-owned filly.
"We purposely only gave her one trial going into that, so she has taken the improvement that we wanted to see.
"Her work has been great and I think at a mile, with that good barrier, she should get a lovely run with Damien Oliver on board and hopefully she is too classy for them.
"That's probably the question mark (being dour second-up), but she did come second in the Thousand Guineas and that's pretty good form over a mile.
"She will only improve third and fourth-up, so whatever she does on Saturday there is plenty more improvement to come."
Another of the stable's gallopers who is second-up on Saturday is So Si Bon, who will be forced to carry a 60-kilogram topweight, with a big class drop into the $140,000 Listed Furphy Ale March Stakes (1400m).
"We were thrilled with his run in the Group 1, he really hit the line well," Hayes said of So Si Bon in the Futurity Stakes.
"He has come through the race excellent, he is a fantastic horse for us to have in training, he never puts a foot wrong.
"He has never raced bad since being gelded, he has got a big weight on Saturday but hopefully his class can get him through."
Hayes is also urging punters to stick with Bella Nipotina after she ran her fifth second placing in last Saturday's Inglis Dash. A winner from just one of her 14 starts, the filly has again drawn the grandstand side down the Flemington straight.
"For a horse who has only won one race, she has won $850,000, so she has been a great horse for the stable without winning," said Hayes, who trains in partnership with Tom Dabernig.
"I thought her run down the straight was excellent, we were just beaten on the line, she is a big tough thing and carries plenty of condition.
"Willie Pike was a bit critical of himself last week, he might have gone a bit early.
"The way she worked this morning, I think she will handle the back-up really well and I am expecting a good run.
"She'll be following Peter Moody's horse (Oxley Road) and hopefully is too strong for him late with a fitness edge.
"I am hoping this week is the week for a peak performance as she was only second-up last Saturday."
Hayes and Dabernig also saddle up former Australian Cup winners Fifty Stars and Harlem in the G1 feature in a bid to win the race for a fourth-straight year.