Trainer James Cummings believes he has Kementari primed to take on the track specialists in the 2018 Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Kememtari will be lining up against last year’s Memsie Stakes winner Vega Magic who is unbeaten at Caulfield from three race starts while 2016 Memsie Stakes winner Black Heart Bart is a four times winner over the Caulfield 1400m course.
Kementari is yet to win at Caulfield but has been placed there twice from two starts during his three year old season when third in the Group 3 $175,000 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) followed by a second in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“I like the fact that he’s had experience at Caulfield, he’s handled the track, he’s trained very well and he’s gone forward with each run,” Cummings said.
“So we’re looking forward to Saturday’s race and expecting a good performance.”
“There’s no doubt this is a very powerful weight-for-age field in the Memsie with horses like Vega Magic and Happy Clapper up against us.”
Kementari has drawn barrier eight in the eleven horse Memsie Stakes field and will be ridden again by Glyn Schofield who has been aboard the Lonhro four year old for his two runs this preparation.
Schofield had little luck on Kementari first up when second to Pierata in the Group 2 $200,000 Mostyn Copper Group Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4 and they got wind burn when Winx zoomed past them when fourth in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18.
Cummings said that Kementari has arrived in Melbourne in great order and he is confident he will be in the finish after producing a potential race winning gallop on Tuesday morning.
“He absolutely flew in a gallop on Tuesday morning,” Cummings said.
“Coming into this race he’s been really bright, he’s come out of his last run in sensational order.”
The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic has been installed as the $2.70 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to win back to back Memsie Stakes while Kementari is on the second line of betting at $4.40.
The Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper is next in the betting at $5.50 ahead of the Mick Price’s Australian Guineas winner Grunt who is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $9 while Black Heart Bart is at the juicy odds of $19.