Auckland trainer Stephen McKee has given rise to Consensus’ chances in Saturday’s Group 2 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 Saturday’s race after finishing last in the Group 1 Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last month, McKee is confident of 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 Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) before adding the Group 3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at New Plymouth, finishing third in the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki on an unsuitable slow track then winning the Group 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 today.
“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 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 18.
“She’ll more than likely head home after this run,” McKee said.