Godolphin’s flashy stallion Kementari will need more than his fair share of luck from a wide barrier in the 2018 Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night.
Kementari will jump from gate twelve in the fourteen horse field and trainer James Cummings is banking on plenty of speed from the runners drawn in close to give his late finisher some chance of making up ground late down the middle of the track in the run to the line.
“There looks to be plenty of speed drawn inside. If it does become a swoopers’ race then he won’t be locked away on the inside,’’ Cummings said.
“He showed in the Memsie that he’s got a really strong burst and he can sustain pressure from a long way out.
“So I’d rather be five wide on the turn than boxed up on the fence and not getting a run.”
“Good horses run well at Moonee Valley and he’s one of the best horses we have in the stable. When the pressure goes on genuinely, I think he’ll respond. We’re going to saddle him up on Friday night with a lot of confidence that he’s going to run very well.’’
Kementari was one of the star three year olds during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 1 $1m Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick but hasn’t found the winner’s stall from four Spring Carnival outings.
Kementari kicked off his latest campaign with a first up second to Pierata in the Group 2 $200,000 Mostyn Copper Group Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4 and Cummings worked the new season four year old back up the 1600m with a fourth to Grunt in the Group 1 $750,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 15.
Cummings is happy with the way Kementari has freshened up and the Lonhro stallion will wear the blinkers for the first in the Manikato Stakes.
“When we got the horse back to Sydney after the Makybe Diva he was good, but not as good as he can be,’’ Cummings said.
“He did really well, he thrived and he bulked up and started looking like the sharp sprinter-miler he was growing into at the end of his three-year-old.”
“I’m confident he’s got that strength again and he’s ready to run very, very well as a fresh horse over 1200m.”
Glyn Schofield has aboard Kementari for his first three Spring Carnival runs and finds himself back in the saddle for the Manikato Stakes, replacing Craig Williams who was aboard in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Kementari has eased slightly in the betting for the Manikato Stakes and on Thursday morning was the second pick at $5.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Tony McEvoy trained Sunlight at $4.60.