The Nicole Molander trained Keystone Del will have his second shot at the Great Southern Star this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton after competing in last year's inaugural series. The son of Dr Ronerail finished last in his heat twelve months ago after making a mistake during the event but Molander believes he has mentally improved since then.
"He has come a long way in the last twelve months, the steps he has taken are probably more mental than physical and I think he has learnt now what being a racehorse is all about," Molander said.
"Keystone Del had another excuse last year as well because he had missed out on a key lead up race because of a little setback and was probably just too fresh at the end of the day but this year his preparation has been totally different and I am extremely happy with the way he has been trotting."
Molander is looking forward to the opportunity of giving Keystone Del two starts on the one day and the Great Southern Star concept will allow for that should he make it through to the final.
"I am really looking forward to seeing how he handles it because I remember the day when he trotted his mile in 1:54.9 at Menangle last year I actually worked him solidly on the morning of the race. The heat and final on the same day at the same meeting shouldn't really bother him."
"He hasn't had much luck since arriving in Victoria this time, he got shuffled back on the pegs in his first run and charged home late and then was forced to sit parked last weekend and was still brave to the line."
While some horses would be concerned by being away from home, Keystone Del handles the travelling comfortably.
"He is a brilliant traveller, doesn't move on the float and being away from home hasn't been an issue for him before. Once we get through the weekend I will sit down and discuss what options there are for Keystone Del going forward with his owners but everything at the moment is just about Saturday."
by Greg Hayes - SKY Racing (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)