Australian Thoroughbred

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May 21, 2020 Kementari comeback continues in G2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm

Kementari’s “back-to-the-future” exercise continues with undiminished enthusiasm at Eagle Farm in Saturday’s G2 Victory Stakes, a race that shapes as the most suitable he has encountered since returning to the racetrack.

A winner of the G1 Randwick Guineas and one of the best colts of his generation in his first incarnation as a racehorse, Kementari (Ryan Maloney) joined the Darley stallion roster in 2019 but fertility issues resulted in him being gelded and put back into work.

Each of his three runs this time around have suggested his desire for racing remains keen, the most recent a fifth behind Tambo’s Mate in a G3 event at Doomben two weeks ago.

“On paper his last run was easy to forgive, we’ve forged ahead with the horse and I think he can win,” said trainer James Cummings.

“He missed the start, made a long run with 61.5kg on his back and was giving away plenty of weight to the winner."

“There were some unusual factors as well. The COVID-19 regulations meant we had to get him up to Queensland a couple of days earlier than I would have liked and the truck was stuck on the side of the road in heavy rain for a couple of hours."

“It was like sitting on the tarmac in a plane – nobody likes that. He also had a Hendra virus booster between runs and I’ve never had one win after that. It can knock them around a bit.”

Prior to his Doomben run, Kementari finished third to Greyworm and his stablemate Trekking in the G3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick. Trekking duly franked the form by winning the G1 The Goodwood at Morphettville last weekend.

While Kementari is headed for slightly longer races, Cummings is content to send him out in Saturday’s 1,200m event under a more suitable weight scale. 

Kementari is joined at Eagle Farm by the two-year-old Beyliks (Larry Cassidy) who makes his return to racing in the G3 Champagne Classic.

The colt made a good impression on debut in the G3 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick last spring and performed satisfactorily on a heavy track at Rosehill in January at his only other run.

“He’s small but he’s packed full of quality,” Cummings said.

“He was competitive in the Breeders Plate and then ran well on a heavy track behind Cellsabeel at his only other run.”

In Melbourne, the stable is double-handed in the Listed Straight Six at Flemington with Home Of The Brave (Brad Rawiller) and Haunted (Damien Oliver).

Formerly trained by Hugo Palmer in England, Home Of The Brave has performed encouragingly in two runs this time in, the latest behind Jungle Edge in Adelaide.

His formidable straight-track record should assist his chances here, despite the burden of 62kg.

“There’s been some rain and it looks like there could be some more, which won’t do him any harm," Cummings said.

Haunted’s best form has been in Melbourne, but he needs to improve on recent efforts to be a winning chance.

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