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Kelly chasing first Saturday metropolitan treble

By Glenn Davis

Gold Coast trainer Les Kelly has the chance for his first Saturday metropolitan treble at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Promising galloper The Kingdom will launch Kelly’s treble bid in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m) followed by Freddie Fox Trot in the Open Handicap (1200m) and Take Tea in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1400m).

“I’ve trained a double in the city on a Saturday but I’ve never trained three winners,” Kelly said.

“It’ll be a big ask but they’re all good chances.”

Kelly has been the Gold Coast’s leading trainer for the past few seasons and will shortly give all three runners short breaks before targeting the Brisbane winter carnival.

The Kingdom was an impressive winner over the Rob Heathcote-trained Mosshiki over 1500 metres at Eagle Farm on January 15 but Kelly believes his future will be over longer ground.

“He’s an up and coming type who is getting better with age,” Kelly said.

“We rushed him too much last winter trying to get him into the Queensland Derby and ran out of time.

“That’s why he lost form for a while so I’m taking my time with him now.

“It was a terrific win last start and he’ll go well but he’ll be a lot better over a middle distance.”

The Kingdom is a son of shuttle stallion Animal Kingdom who won the Group 1 Kentucky Derby in 2000.

The Kingdom was knocked down for $230,000 at the Magic Millions sales and has started 16 times for four wins and two placings.

Kelly is hoping Take Tea will get better luck than she had when a close fourth to another Heathcote runner Roasted over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.

"She got too far back that day and then was caught wide so hopefully she’ll get more luck in this,” he said.

“I think she’ll run 1600 metres and she’ll have to prove she’s up to the winter races like the Queensland Guineas."

Kelly expects Freddie Fox Trot to show improvement following his last start fourth to Pennino in a Benchmark 90 race at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.

“He usually takes a run or two to find his best form and his only run this time in was very good,” Kelly said.

“He’s limited to 1200 and 1300 metre races as he just can’t quite get 1400 metres.”

Racing Queensland webnews   January 31