Australian Thoroughbred

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20/3/202 G1 prospects step up at Rosehill for Godolphin

Mike Hedge Photo: Avilius

As he did a year ago, Avilius is set to turn disappointment into G1 success when he runs in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill, one of five G1 races on a day when all Australian racing will take place behind closed doors.

As well as Avilius and the 2YOs Hanseatic and Thermosphere in the Golden Slipper, Godolphin’s G1 aspirants include Alizee and Best Of Days in the George Ryder Stakes, Kementari, Savatiano and Deprive in The Galaxy and Chenier in the Rosehill Guineas.

Avilius (Hugh Bowman) will bid for his second consecutive Ranvet win and his fourth G1 title in circumstances identical to those of 12 months ago.

In 2019 Avilius disappointed in the Australian Cup only to improve dramatically on a heavy track two weeks later to win the Ranvet.

This time around, he disappointed in the Australian Cup again, and will again find a wet track for the Ranvet.

“He’s returned to Sydney in good shape and he looks likely to get his preferred, soft ground,” said his trainer James Cummings.

“I’d say he sets up well to defend his Ranvet title, but he’ll have to fend off a pretty good Royal Ascot winner in Addeybb.“

In The Galaxy, Kementari makes his comeback to racing with hopes and expectations in check, despite a couple of encouraging trials.

“On this day two years ago he was building up his credentials finishing third to Winx in the Ryder,” Cummings said.

“Since then destiny has dictated that he has to prove himself again.”

“He’s been encouraging us along the way since he came back to the stable and his trials leading up to this have been a part of that encouragement.”

 In the same race, Savatiano and Deprive complete a strong team.

 “They both have claims in a race that suits them admirably,” their trainer said.

The former European galloper Best Of Days (Kerrin McEvoy) resumes in the George Ryder Stakes with his form having received a boost thanks to the win of Regal Power in the All-Star Mile last week.

“He may not be a strong, winning chance, but this is a good race for him to kick-off his campaign,” Cummings said.

“He received a quite positive form upgrade last week when Regal Power won the All-Star Mile, having only been beaten a half-length by him in Perth where his form was very good.”

He is expected to be joined by Alizee (Hugh Bowman) who had issues after her latest run two weeks ago.

“She’s shown good signs of having recovered from her last run when she had a poor post-race recovery.”

“We’ll continue to monitor her but at this stage she’s showing us that she’s fit and well.”

The G1 contingent is completed by Chenier in the Rosehill Guineas, a race for which he tuned up with a solid trial at Randwick this week.

“He’s only a lightly-raced colt but he’s been working up to this trip and his trial suggested he’s comfortable going right-handed for the first time,” said assistant trainer Sam Freedman.

Cummings has paid up for five fillies in the G3 Birthday Card Handicap, with decision to be made closer to raceday on the final line-up.

Among them, Soothing (James McDonald) has a profile that gives her a strong presence in either this race or the Listed Darby Munro Stakes for which she is also entered. Also entered for both events is last year’s Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi (Damian Lane).

“After being a late scratching last week Soothing is bursting to run,” Cummings said.

“I haven’t been unhappy with Kiamichi this campaign and she should get track conditions to suit her.”

The fillies Resin (Rachel King) and Manicure (Hugh Bowman) are also entered for the Birthday Card.