Kenedna lands maiden Group 1 for partnership

It’s been a long time coming but on Saturday at Randwick recently acquired mare Kenedna, landed the first Group 1 for Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace as co-trainers in the 1600m Coolmore Legacy Stakes.

It was a strong race full of the best mares in the country, but we had full faith in our little mare after a huge run in the Sunline Stakes and some nice work leading in.

Jockey John Allen, who has a terrific association with the horse, guided her through the field down the straight and timed the run beautifully to hit the front in the final few strides of the race.

“This horse has been knocking on the door for a little while,” Maher said after the race.

“She’s Group 1 placed so we thought we’d bring her up here as the fresh horse on the scene and really target this race and go on to Queensland.

“She came in great order and it was a great job by the team.

“This is what it’s all about,” he said.

Kenedna is named after owner Mick Johnston’s grandparents Ken and Edna, and only a couple of weeks ago, Edna passed away which made the win even more special to her colourful connections.

“This one (win) is right above all of them,” Johnston said.

“There’s been a few Group 1’s along the way but this one does mean a lot to myself, Elise and our family.

“Nan passed away two weeks ago, joined Pop, but the family and everyone would be up cheering no doubt.”

Both co-trainers credited the win to the super ride by John Allen.

“She got a brilliant ride from Johnny Allen, you had to give to it him for the ride,” Eustace said.

“She responds to urging and while she wasn’t cantering on the turn, she looked like she’d keep finding if that gap came.

“There was only half a gap there really and he took it.

“I wouldn’t say we were confident in the run, but once she and Johnny found the gap, I always thought she was going to find the line well,” he said.

Allen praised the gutsiness of the mare, saying it was a key factor in winning the race from the position they were in.

“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,” Allen told Sky Racing.

“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.

“It was a great effort by the mare. She is just so genuine,” he said.

The daughter of Not A Single Doubt will now look towards the Brisbane carnival with the 2000m Doomben Cup her main target.