Well-travelled sprinter Kievann, a winner in three states and the Northern Territory so far in his career, looks a great chance to post his first success on a NSW track when he heads to Ballina on Friday.
Formerly trained in Victoria, Kievann ($5 on TAB fixed odds) has been in the Eagle Farm stables of Lauren Herne since the beginning of the year. Herne is chasing her third win from 11 starts with the eight-year-old when he tackles Friday's Brown And Hurley Open Hcp (1305m).
Kievann was a very handy performer back in Victoria, firstly with trainer Troy Portelli and then with Stephen Brown. He won races at Moonee Valley (three times), Kyneton (three times) and at Adelaide's Morphettville Parks (one win). He also campaigned in the Northern Territory, winning the 2015 William Hill Stakes (1200m) during the Darwin Cup carnival.
Since Herne took him over this year, Kievann has shown he still has plenty to offer on the racetrack. From his 10 starts for Herne, the gelding has recorded two wins - at the Gold Coast on June 16 and the Sunshine Coast on September 28 - as well as four placings. One of those placings was a second to Grey Missile in the $100,000 Cleveland Bay Hcp (1300m) in Townsville back on July 28.
Kievann had his first start on a NSW track at Ballina's last meeting on November 26, carrying 60kg into second place behind in-form Murwillumbah galloper Chloride, who enjoyed a 7kg pull in the weights that day. They clash again in Friday's race, with Chloride ($3.50 favourite) this time getting a 4kg advantage after apprentice Leah Kilner takes her 1.5kg claim.
Kilner is out to extend her perfect record aboard Chloride to six wins after partnering the gelding to victory the only five previous times they have combined - at Lismore (March 17), Grafton (April 30 and May 20), Grafton again (October 30) and last start at Ballina (November 26).
Chloride led throughout at Ballina last time and the massive 7kg pull in the weights was enough to see him hold off Kievann, but the lesser weight difference this time gives the Brisbane sprinter a chance to reverse the result.
An interesting newcomer to the Stephen Lee stable who will run is the former Godolphin galloper Ataraxia ($5.50), who showed some potential as a three-year-old during the 2017 spring, winning the Group Three Dulcify Quality (1600m). He is resuming since August when he failed to fire in three Sydney runs for Godolphin.
Lee isn't expecting much from the four-year-old first-up over the 1305m but he could be a handy addition to the stable if he can rediscover something like this best three-year-old form down the track.