Fork in the road run for Keats

Keats will be looking to register a fourth win since joining the Gavin Bedggood stable when he contests the Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield.

Cranbourne trainer Gavin Bedggood says the Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield is a fork in the road race for Keats

The former Mike Moroney -trained galloper will be having his sixth start since joining the Bedggood stable, chasing his fourth win. 

Saturday's Group 3 contest over 1 1⁄8 m is by far the toughest assignment Keats has faced for his new trainer as there were not a lot of suitable options for the imported galloper. 

Keats was scheduled to run in last Sunday's Kilmore Cup (1600m), but that meeting was abandoned due to a waterlogged track. 

Bedggood said he had the option of running in Friday's Wodonga Cup (1590m) but thought that race had come up a little stronger than anticipated. 

And with an extra $100,000 in prize money, Bedggood considered the Eclipse Stakes the right option. 

"The plan was to go to the Kilmore Cup, but that was taken out of our hands," Bedggood said. 

"There was not a lot of options, it was either go to Sydney or the Wodonga Cup which I thought came up strong enough, so I thought we would take our chance and run for a good prize. 

"I think it is his perfect trip. 

"The 1 1⁄4 m is the end of his trip while a mile is probably the lower end of his distance range." 

Keats has not raced since winning the Peninsula Cup (1600m) at Mornington on October 30. 

Bedggood said the four weeks between runs was not ideal, but the gelding has been in work for a considerable time, holding residual fitness. 

"He worked really well on Tuesday, did a bit of pace work on Thursday and he'll make his presence felt," Bedggood said. 

"It's a raising of the bar and a fork in the road run for him to see if he's up to this level or he isn't. 

"I'm certainly looking forward to seeing if he is." 

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