By Glenn Davis
Beau Jet, a seven-year-old written off as a racing proposition after breaking down more than two years ago, is set to propel trainer Bill Kenning back into the spotlight in the Lightning Handicap at Cluden Park, Townsville on Saturday.
Beau Jet was previously trained in Brisbane by Steve O’Dea and looked to have a bright future winning four of his first five starts including two in the metropolitan area.
However, he was plagued with feet problems which restricted his career and he never won again in his next 14 starts for O’dea.
After breaking down at Doomben in January, 2017, his career was thought to be over.
“I used to work for his previous owner Adele Keenan and when she was selling her property at Beaudesert, she asked me if I wanted to take him on,” Kenning said.
“He had been in a paddock for nearly two years after the vets thought he was unlikely to ever race again.”
Kenning accepted an offer to lease the gelding and since entering his Townsville stable, Beau Jet has found a new lease of life in north Queensland.
“He never sees the track until race days,” Kenning said.
“I take him to beach nearby and it’s just like having my own water walker.”
Kenning, who has a small team of four horses in work, has had the son of Jet Spur for 17 starts.
“When I first got him, I treated him like a normal horse but his joints aren’t real flash,” he said.
“He won only one race in his first nine starts for me but this time in I’ve decided to do very little with him except take him to the beach where he plays like a baby.
“I give him a few weeks between runs and his times this time in have been outstanding.
“He’s won all three starts this campaign and I think he’ll be hard to beat again in the Lightning.”
Kenning was a popular jockey when he rode around south-east Queensland before moving to Townsville and has only been training for the past five years.
His career in the saddle was cut short after badly breaking a leg in a race fall.
"I won the Townsville and Rockhampton Cups when I was riding but I got busted-up fairly badly in a fall," Kenning said.
"It took more than a year to get mobile again.
"I've loved horses all my life so I decided to start training after I was forced to give riding away."
Racing Queensland webnews July 18