Vern Brockman rated Kheleva a potential Group 1 galloper after he won a support race on the 2014 Perth Cup card.
The veteran trainer has lowered his sights since New Year’s Day but he was still glad to welcome the gelding back to scale after the Marylin Raina Memorial (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Kheleva (4g Kheleyf – Pro Challenge by Protos) was a $50,000 graduate of Geisel Park’s draft at the 2012 Perth Magic Millions and he has now earned over $136,100 for a syndicate headed by Paul Whyte.
“I thought he was a Railway Stakes horse – now I’m not so sure,” Brockman admitted. “He’s was pretty average at his first two runs back from a spell but he wants it longer than 1000m and 1200m. I told (Willie) Pike he would keep giving and not to miss him in the straight.”
Kheleva swept down the outside in a finish that saw less than a length separating the first five home. “I’m happy with him,” Brockman predicted. “He will get 1600m on that effort.”
Brockman trained his older half-sister Stormy Nova (Metal Storm) to black-type victories in Perth and Adelaide.
Geisel Park sold 17 yearlings at the 2014 Perth Magic Millions including a draft of four War Chants that averaged $77,750. Owner Eddie Rigg and Yarradale Stud’s Ron Sayers have since secured War Chant to stand full-time in Western Australia.
War God (2c War Chant – Hallelujah by Twig Moss) is the first of the Geisel Park graduates to be registered for the new racing season. He is a half-brother to Sydney stakes-winner Domine (Strategic) and is on the books with leading trainer Neville Parnham.