IN Racing
Talented Kennedy-Furlong fillies attracting interest
Hanging on to promising two-year-olds Defiant and Kikimora might be half the battle for Riccarton trainers Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong.
NZ Racing Desk | March 24, 2022
Grace’s Secret. Photo: Race Images South

Hanging on to promising two-year-olds Defiant and Kikimora might be half the battle for Riccarton trainers Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong as they prepare the duo for Saturday's Petersens Jewellers Ladies Bracelet (1000m) on their home track.

The stable has already seen the unbeaten Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) winner Grace's Secret moved on from their stable and Kennedy revealed there had already been buying interest on both his fillies contesting Saturday's juvenile race.

"We've had interest in both of these fillies and at a good level as well," Kennedy said, adding that the strength of the southern two-year-old crop was raising the credibility of southern racing.

"That's the encouraging thing. There haven't been many two-year-old races in New Zealand that have had the form of this one. There's a few in this race that could venture north and be competitive as well."

Kennedy and Furlong go into Saturday's race confident of another strong showing from their pair, who both ran second on debut after winning trials on the Riccarton polytrack.

Shamexpress filly Kikimora followed a 10-length trial win with an encouraging 1000m placing at Riccarton last month, while Tavistock filly Defiant closed strongly behind Turf War over 820m at Wingatui earlier this month.

"They are complete opposite types. Defiant hadn't done a lot before she went to Dunedin but she raced really well down there and the whole time, she has kept on improving," Kennedy said.

"We expect her to relish the step up to 1000m. She's got good gate speed and she'll put herself right in the race.

"Kikimora is a real three-year-old type. She's got size and a lot of natural ability. She hasn't been pushed to get to where she's got to. 

"There are probably six genuine chances in Saturday's race plus a couple of unknowns that have shown good ability. We gave our two good chances. We just hope the track comes back to a nice dead surface and they'll go very well. 

"They are both going great. Defiant had the trip away down to Dunedin and she's gone the right way since. Anna's the boss these days and she's really happy with them."

Kennedy reported that Grace's Secret had joined Sydney trainer Chris Waller for her future racing.

The Vadamos filly was bred and raced by Central Otago couple Dennis and Sally Mullally, who retained a share for her future racing in Australia and have since reinvested through Kennedy at Karaka this month.

Defiant Kikimora Shane Kennedy Anna Furlong Grace's Secret Shamexpress Chris Waller