Keen eye: David Hayes will focus on the autumn with Blue Sapphire winner Keen Array.Keen eye: David Hayes will focus on the autumn with Blue Sapphire winner Keen Array. Photo:

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David Hayes always knew he had something special in Keen Array. He had to wait, but a near-record run at Moonee Valley backed up by victory in Wednesday’s Blue Sapphire at Caulfield has vindicated his opinion.

“I think we just saw two very good colts,” Hayes said after Keen Array had a long neck to spare from Mogador with leader Haptic three-quarters of a length away in third. “He was my best two-year-old last season but he was leggy and just kept going shin sore.

“When Reemah got so close in the Blue Diamond, I knew I had something to look forward to. I just had to be patient.”

It is a virtue Hayes will continue to utilise. He will not be tempted by the group 1 lure of the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on October 31 with the son of Bel Esprit.

“There is a three-year-old set weights [race] at the Valley next week and then we will put him away for the autumn. I think we can wait until then with him to take on the best,” Hayes said.

“He went really quick time at the Valley last start and I think he could just be a freak there.

“I think the way he is, that in time he might even get to a mile, but sprinting is going well at the moment.”

The betting pointed to Keen Array, which started $2.30 favourite after drifting to as much as $2.60. Godolphin colt Mogador blew in the market from $3 to start at $4.40 but the pair clearly had a class edge on the rest of the field.

Even with a mid-race easing of the speed, Keen Array and Mogador rounded up their rivals coming from the tail of the field. They both ran their last 800 metres in less than 46 seconds.

“I know John [O’Shea] has a bit of an opinion of his horse [Mogador] and he lost nothing there today,” Hayes said. “It did look a two-horse race and turned out a two-horse race.

“[Jockey] Damian [Lane] showed lovely poise and produced him when it mattered. He’s a horse with a big, big future.”

Lane had the advantage of being in front of Mogador on Keen Array and he proved too good.

“The best thing about him is he’s still a green horse. He’s still lightly raced and he’s got more improvement to come,” Lane said. “He didn’t begin well so I was a pair further back than I thought I’d be but good horses overcome those mishaps.”

O’Shea said the race pattern probably dictated the result.

“We wanted to be a pair further up and in front of [Keen Array], instead we were racing him and he was too slick,” O’Shea said. “It was his first time around Caulfield and he did a good job and I think we can say the winner is a pretty good horse.”