Godolphin’s next generation star Kementari is at his best to tackle champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Kementari is coming off a first up second to Pierata in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4 and trainer James Cummings said that the step up 1400m of the Winx Stakes was perfect for the new season four year old at this stage of his preparation.
“We are coming up against the best horse in the world. She is the best horse in the race easily and we would love to see the horse (Kementari) run well because it is a race at the perfect time of his preparation and we know that he is going to enjoy the 1400m,” Cummings said.
Kementari wasn’t in the original nominations for the Winx Stakes but after the four year old galloped brilliantly at Osborne Park on Tuesday morning, Cummings decided to take advantage of the extended nomination deadline for the Winx Stakes and line up against Chris Waller’s champion mare.
“Kementari galloped beautifully her on the Osborne Park grass on Tuesday morning. He just let down really strongly in his gallop,” Cummings said.
“He showed me that he really improved from his first up run in the Missile Stakes and to be honest it is probably the best I have seen him gallop.”
“And for that reason I thought that waiting a month was going to be far too long for the Memsie so we decided to accept in the Winx Stakes.”
Cummings had planned to run Kementari second up in the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1 but will now head to Melbourne for the 1400m weight for age sprint with two runs under his belt.
Kementari joined the Group 1 winner’s club during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win against the three year olds in the $1m Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 10 and then took on the older horses at weight for age for a third behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Kementari had one more run during the Autumn Carnival before being spelled for a tenth to Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships on April 7.
Kementari has drawn barrier seven in the eleven horse Winx Stakes field with Glyn Schofield in the saddle again while Winx will jump from gate five for Hugh Bowman.
Winx will be having her first start back since claiming her eighteenth Group 1 win and her twenty-fifth victory on the trot in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 14, day two of The Championships, and has pleased trainer Chris Waller in her lead up which included two Rosehill barrier trials.
The Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27 will be Winx’s main 2018 Spring Carnival goal to try to make it four Cox Plate wins in a row after winning the weight for age championship for the last three years in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Winx has drifted slightly in the market for the Winx Stakes from $1.12 to be the $1.18 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au on race eve while Kementari is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $7.50.