The Chris Waller-trained Kinane will carry the weight of expectation when he contests the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1800m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday, but the talented three-year-old will have to overcome the outside barrier in the field of 16.
The son of Reliable Man has been one of the talk horses of the autumn, exacerbated by a multi-million dollar offer from Hong Kong following his impressive victory in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick in April. Waller elected to bypass the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) to instead focus on a two-start campaign in Queensland commencing tomorrow and culminating in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.
“It is easy to put a hype on a horse but he certainly showed in his last start he looks like he is good,” Waller told RSN. “I guess the hype has been put on the horse by the horse not being for sale. In this modern age, what people can’t get or what they want they tend to just put prices up. “Well done to the team for keeping the horse in Australia and seeing it as a great opportunity to be a big part of some big races for a lot of years to come.”
Named after former top Irish jockey Mick Kinane, the New Zealand-bred gelding has been installed a $1.90 favourite for the three-year-old feature and will be ridden by Ryan Maloney. “He’s still immature,” Waller said. “He is still improving, and we sent him to Queensland to get a bit more experience. He will get that experience from a wide draw tomorrow.”
Waller is yet to work out which distance the gelding is best suited to and with no Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) this year with a revamped Queensland carnival due to Covid-19, Kinane’s staying ability will not truly be tested in the sunshine state. “We have seen he is very good in a high pressure 2000m race at Randwick, that’s about all we know,” Waller said. “We are learning about the horse and distances and that is the beauty of the spring, there are so many options. “Getting him up there to Queensland in the weather, it seems to be a busman’s holiday and he will enjoy it.”
Kinane had one start for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent before transferring to the Waller stable when Kent took a sabbatical from training. Purchased by Kent through bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, Kinane is a graduate of the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, secured for $165,000 from the draft of Phoenix Park.