Kenny's Dream heading in right direction
By Michael Guerin
One of the most unlikely charges toward this season’s Horse of the Year honours has been put on hold for a week.
But if Kenny’s Dream can pull off a title that will cement her broodmare career champion trainer of trotters Phil Williamson will have good mate Tony Herlihy to thank.
Just three months ago Kenny’s Dream was a battling southern trotter going nowhere fast, except at home where she worked well before failing to live up to that on racenight.
Williamson brought her north hoping the right-handed racing her work had suggested would suit her would re-ignite her stumbling career.
Not even he could have dreamed what would unfold.
Kenny’s Dream has won four of her five starts at Alexandra Park, the last two when trained by Herlihy and captured a $25,000 race last Friday night.
Herlihy will allow her to bypass the 2200m main trot at Alexandra Park this Friday because her handicap would have made it awfully hard to win but she is likely to take on 2700m again next week.
And if she continues on her winning way then the Four-Year-Old Mare of the Year title looks as good as hers.
She already has more wins than any other mare of her age, with four this season and five would almost certainly wrap up the title.
Her biggest rival might actually be a horse who hasn’t raced in New Zealand this season in Show Gait, who won the Breeders Crown for three-year-old trotters in Victoria last August.
Because that falls outside our season Show Gait’s group one performance will be eligible for votes for the four-year-old mare category but the fact that race was nearly a year ago and she hasn’t raced since means many voters will overlook her.
So the title looks the surprise package Kenny’s Dream’s to lose and while four-year-old trotting mare of the year is hardly the most glamorous title in racing, it stays in the yearling sales catalogues for as long as that family exists.
That and the fact Kenny’s Dream is beautifully bred means Williamson, who still owns the mare, now has a serious broodmare prospect on is hands.
“I think Phil is pretty happy about how it has all gone,” laughs Herlihy.
“He hoped the trip up here would turn her around and it has totally changed her.
“Now she races like a really good mare yet is laid-back at home.
“So we will probably give her one more start and then a spell and might even nominate her for the Inter Dominions since they are close to home.”A horse of the year title for Kenny’s Dream could make for a big awards night for Herlihy as he has two Jewels winners in Tickle Me Pink (three-year-old filly) and Bolt Of Brilliance (juvenile male trotter) who could also win HOTY titles.
Add to that his open class star Temporale, who is due back into stable work in a few weeks, new top level graduate in Forget The Price Tag and one of the country’s best juvenile trotting fillies in Cheeky Babe and the South Auckland trainer has one of the strongest trotting teams in Australasia.
“I probably have 8 or 10 trotters here from about 30 horses in work and with the improvement in the breed they are easier to train than they used to be.”