Australian Thoroughbred

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29/11/2019 Trekking, Home Of The Brave and Viridine make up a formidable G1 force in Perth

Mike Hedge

The G1 Stradbroke Handicap winner Trekking leads a three-horse Godolphin challenge for Saturdays G1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth with stable confidence spread across the entire trio.

Trekking (Kerrin McEvoy), who has was third in the $14m The Everest two starts back and third in the Redzel Stakes after that, will be joined in the Winterbottom by Home Of The Brave (Damian Lane) and Viridine (Damien Oliver) who both showed in their latest Melbourne runs that they have what it takes and travelled to the west in excellent form.

“Trekking has made the journey across the continent at a high-point in his preparation to tackle what is a really good field of sprinters from a variety of backgrounds,” trainer James Cummings said.

“The vital thing is that he coped very well with the long flight and arrived in good shape. He’ll come to Ascot on Saturday in what we believe is the sort of form that will make him very competitive."

“He brings the best eastern states’ sprint form from Tthe Everest and the Redzel Stakes and although he’s back a little in distance I don’t see that as an issue."

“I’d expect to see him back in the field and coming with a withering run.”

Home Of The Brave is the veteran of the group, but the former Hugo Palmer-trained runner produced a strong trial for this race with a close, G3 second at Sandown in Melbourne earlier this month.

“His last run was perhaps the bravest he’s put in during this preparation,” Cummings said.

“He’s a natural on-pace runner who has the credentials to make his own luck."

“If it’s proving difficult to make ground on Saturday, he’ll be one of the soldiers up in the firing line.”

Viridine returned to his best at the same Sandown meeting winning a Listed, 1,000m race and is confronted with a step up in trip and grade here.

“He’s won at 1,200m in good company in the G2 Roman Consul Stakes as a three-year-old, but we’re keen for him to re-establish his credentials at that trip,” Cummings said.

“He also put in a bold effort in the G1 Stradbroke behind Trekking, he was good behind the same horse in the G2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield and then raced up to his best to win at Sandown last start."

“A strong pace suits a strong horse, and that’s how we see Viridine.”
In early betting markets, Trekking has been well supported from $2.80 into $2.40. Markets supplied by Ladbrokes, For Best Odds Get your Ladbrokes betting account

In Sydney, the team will be represented by Ranier (Kathy O’Hara) in the G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill over a 1,500m trip Cummings believes is ideal and by Badajoz (James McDonald) in the Listed Starlight Stakes.

“The 1,500m should be a sweet distance for Ranier,” he said.

“He won a strong mile race in the Carbine Club at Flemington this time last year and came up just short over the same course and distance there earlier this month.”

Badajoz returns to Sydney after campaigning in Melbourne where his latest efforts for third behind stablemate Soothing in the Listed Century Stakes and fourth in the G2 Caulfield Sprint put him in contention here.

“Both those runs in Melbourne are good recommendations for the race. He’s an extremely honest horse and I can see him being right in this.”

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