Securing several impressive results over the 2014 racing calendar, trainer John O’Shea is considering a berth in the featured Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) for talented three-year-old Kumaon at Caulfield on February 14th.
Claiming one win and finishing in the places a further five times over a total of ten starts so far, Kumaon has not been seen at the races since failing to fire and thirteenth in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic on October 18th, in what figured as his maiden appearance over 2000m.
Confirming the Lonhro colt will be kept to events one mile and below over the 2015 Autumn Carnival, Racing Manager for Godolphin Australia Jason Walsh said both the 2015 C.F. Orr Stakes and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) two weeks later appear likely to figure for Kumaon this time in, and interestingly revealed the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) also remains an option for the three-year-old despite having not been included in nominations for the Flemington feature on Tuesday.
“John is not quite sure if he runs out a really strong mile,” Walsh told AAP.
“So the Australian Guineas is definitely still on the table for him but there’s a couple of 1400-metre Group Ones including the Orr and we may look to give him a chance in a race like that.
“(The CF Orr and the Futurity Stakes) are both races that we have certainly still got on the table for him.”
Confirming he will return to racing in a BM90 Handicap race over 1200m at Flemington on Saturday, Walsh said Kumaon’s recent work and results over 2014 point towards another successful campaign through the 2015 Autumn Carnival.
“He has been around the mark without getting that Group race win yet. He was fourth in a Caulfield Guineas and to finish about a length from two very good colts suggests he’s got the right sort of ability,” Walsh said.
“He’s certainly forward enough to run well and he would need to with the plans we’ve got for him.”
Debuting with a nail-biting victory in the $100,000 Schweppes Golden Gift (1100m) in late 2013, Kumaon placed third behind Fighting Sun and Boomwaa in the 2014 ATC Membership On Sale Plate (1100m) on January 4th before returning to the paddock.
Displaying an exceptional turn of foot to finish second by a nose in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) upon his competitive return on March 29th, the colt out of Nanda Kot ran sixth in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in what was his only other start prior to the Champagne Stakes.
Returning in spring for second in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) in late August, Kumaon was unable to match the late pace of Hallowed Crown when tenth in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 13th but responded well when placing third in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) and fortnight prior to the Caulfield Guineas.