Kementari ready for comeback win
Godolphin’s head Australian trainer James Cummings has made a strong case for comeback galloper Kementari to score his first win in two years at Eagle Farm.
Kementari heads the weights in the Group Two Victory Stakes (1200m) which will be his lead-up to the Group One Stradbroke Handicap a fortnight later.
Kementari was one of Godolphin’s better performers when he raced in Group One company 12 times for a win in the 2018 Randwick Guineas and five seconds.
He was sent to stud but had fertility problems and the decision was made to geld him and send him back to the races.
Cummings decided to aim Kementari at the Stradbroke Handicap and the gelding has been coming along nicely.
Kementari has had three starts back on the racetrack for thirds in the Star Kingdom Stakes and Hall Mark Stakes in Sydney and a last-start fifth in the Group Three BRC Sprint two weeks ago.
Cummings was happy with the BRC Sprint run where Kementari had 60kg and he has put winkers back on the gelding’s race day gear.
“We’ve forged ahead with the horse and I think he can win,” Cummings said.
“On paper his last run wasn’t hard to forgive. He missed the start, made a long run and was giving away plenty of weight to the winner.
“Going back one run, he finished just behind Trekking at level weights in the Hall Mark and he’s gone on to win the Group One Goodwood.
“While it may be thought that he’s looking for longer, this is a good stepping stone to the Stradbroke where he’s got 55.5kg and he can’t get a penalty for winning it.”
Ryan Maloney will ride Kementari on Saturday and will retain the ride in the Stradbroke.
Goldolphin also has promising two-year-old Beyliks in the Group Two Champagne Classic (1200m).
Beyliks will take on a quality field but Cummings feels he won’t be out of place.
“He’s small but he’s packed full of quality. He was competitive in the Breeders’ Plate and then ran well on a heavy track behind Cellsabeel at his only other run,” Cummings said.
“At set weights against some very handy horses probably doesn’t favour him, but we’ll learn a bit about him.”