Form expert Simon Dinopolous has Kermadec on top of his 2016 Canterbury Stakes tips and he believes that the Chris Waller-trained galloper is the clear value in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Kermadec started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with strong performances in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before he returned to winning form in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
The Teofilo entire failed to handle the step-up to 2000 metres for the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but Dinopolous was impressed with his fresh form at the start of the spring and he believes that the four-year-old has been primed to run a big race first-up in the Canterbury Stakes.
“It is a really competitive race on paper and I am looking forward to it,” Dinopolous told Sky Racing HQ.
“I am happy to side with Kermadec fresh on Saturday.
“I thought his performances last time in were very good – he was obviously beaten in the Caulfield Stakes and he was never in the hunt in the Cox Plate, but his form prior was very good and he does seem well-placed.
“I just think he has come back a bit better this time in and he has looked a lot sharper in his two trials.
“Blinkers go on and (Hugh) Bowman goes on, so he ticks a few boxes there and he is following a similar program to Winx and Press Statement with two trials and an exhibition gallop.
“I do expect him to be fairly forward and I know that his first-up record is only one from three, but on all occasions he has raced well fresh and if he is a run ahead of where he normally is then I think he will prove hard to beat.
“It looks like he has been set for this first-up.
“I do respect First Seal, but there is just some query taking on the boys at weight-for-age.
“If the speed is on Kermadec should lob into a good spot on the inside and he can fire fresh and prove hard to beat.”
Kermadec is currently available at 2016 Canterbury Stakes odds of $6 with Ladbrokes and he is on the third line of betting behind talented mare First Seal ($2.70) and consistent sprinter Our Boy Malachi ($3.40).