Twelve months ago Keayang Cullen qualified for his first Inter Dominion Grand Final after finishing a close second to Caribbean Blaster in the Victorian heat but this year he went one better booking his place in Australasia's greatest race. Not only did Keayang Cullen win his heat on Saturday night he also broke the 2240 metre track record at Tabcorp Park Melton.
"It was a definite buzz for me winning the heat this year after finishing so close last year and to get the track record was a thrill too," driversaid.
"His form has been really solid recently and I think he deserved to win a race like Saturday night, he isn't the best horse in the country but he tries very hard and you like to see horses like that get rewarded for how hard they try."
Keayang Cullen drew wide in last year's Grand Final and Craven knew his chances were very slim before the race even started.
"He ended up finishing 11th in the race but it taught me a bit about driving in races like the Inter Dominion and it also taught the horse about racing against the better ones too, it was a learning experience for all of us and I think he will be better for that this time around."
"The barrier draw will be important again and he can't be driven too aggressively as was proven in the Hunter Cup but with the right sort of run he is going to be competitive."
Craven confirmed Keayang Cullen will not compete in this Saturday's Terang Cup.
"It was nice and close to home and we strongly considered giving him a start in the race but in the end we decided to miss it this year."
"He actually won the Terang Cup last year and that was his last win before he broke through for another win on Saturday night in the heat, it would be nice to go back to back."
Harness Racing New South Wales