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Final assignment for Princess Kereru

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Ken and Bev Kelso and Mark Donoghue-trained Princess Kereru will have one final assignment to cap off what has been an outstanding season for the five-year-old sprinter.

The daughter of Pins surpassed all expectations of her connections this season, winning the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Plate (1200m) and finishing runner-up in the Listed Lightning Stakes (1200m) and Gr.1 Railway (1200m).

She will attempt to close out the season in style at Hastings next Saturday when she lines-up in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m).

"Princess Kereru will run in that Listed race and then spell and come back and hopefully be competitive in the major sprints again," Ken Kelso said.

"With set-weights and penalties I think she comes back into the Railway with only about 54kg on her back, so we will set her for some of those races again. It will be a similar program to what she did this year.

"It has been a fantastic season. She’s a Group One placegetter and Group three winner at Ellerslie, she’s really stepped up to the mark.

"We knew she had ability, but she has really surprised us and I am really delighted for the owners.

"She is now quite a valuable mare with her black-type results and we look forward to having a crack at those bigger sprints again next year."

Refreshed Shillelagh to tackle Doncaster

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has attempted to freshen Group One winner Shillelagh ahead of Saturday’s Gr.1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The New Zealand-bred and owned galloper was disappointing in her last start unplaced run in the Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last month and Waller is hoping she can recapture her earlier form when finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m) in the race prior.

"We have endeavored to freshen her up the best we can by backing off the intense galloping and just doing more slow work and maintenance gallops, including a work out on Tuesday morning over 1000m where she was hard held and worked very well," Waller said.

"Her run in the Australian Cup was certainly a very good performance and her run in the Ranvet was well below her best on the heavy track, however her form would suggest that she is nowhere near as effective on heavy going.

"We are hoping that it gets back to the better side of soft and if that is the case, she can bounce back to form.

She has a lovely draw (barrier three) and Craig Williams now knows her well, having ridden her in her previous two starts.

"I am hoping she can begin well and utilise her good gate so that she can come with a good, strong finish over the concluding stages carrying a nice, light weight of 53kg."

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