Australian Thoroughbred

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6/2/2020 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi returns to action at Warwick Farm

Mike Hedge

After her return to racing was postponed by Sydney’s scorching summer a week ago, the G1 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi can turn up the heat in her own right at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

As a G1 winner, Kiamichi will give weight all round to a field that includes the handy colts Kubrick and her fellow Godolphin runners Pandemic and Chenier, but trainer James Cummings is satisfied she can return to the form that made her one of the country’s top juveniles of last season.

“She’s on a great mission this time in after laying it all on the line last autumn,” Cummings said

“Her preliminaries have been very strong. She won her last trial in good style and she’ll get the wet track that she prefers.”

Kiamichi (Kerrin McEvoy) followed her Slipper win with a third placing in the G1 Sires Produce Stakes and then had only a brief spring campaign, but a comfortable trial win has her in good shape for her return.

Pandemic (Tommy Berry) comes to Saturday’s race with three restricted-class successes, including a last-start defeat of older rivals, to recommend him.

“He made a flashy return against older horses after the three-year-old race I’d entered him for was deleted from the program,” Cummings said.

“This is a better race, but to do what he did last start was a positive sign.”

Chenier (James McDonald) resumes in the same race having shown great promise in her only two starts.

“His first-up win was very strong at Sandown and he then ran well enough when second at her only other start,” said assistant trainer Sam Freedman.

With the three-year-old males stepping out in Sydney, a pair of well-credentialled fillies take up the challenge in Melbourne where Aquitaine (Damian Lane) and Enfleurage (Craig Williams) tackle the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes.

“Aquitaine is a powerful filly who has worked her way through the grades very nicely,” Cummings said.

“It’s a solid line-up here that should test her, but she’s looked good in a string of wins in Sydney."

“Enfleurage was a bold winner last time and should be able to use that strength to good effect around Caulfield.”

Also at Caulfield, a pair of exceptional 2YOs will be out to prove themselves worthy successors to the champagne crop of Godolphin youngsters that carried all before it in 2019 when they match strides in Saturday’s G3, male division of the Blue Diamond Preludes at Caulfield.

The Street Boss colts Valaquenta (Damian Lane) and Hanseatic (Luke Currie) go into their race dominating discussions.

Valaquenta produced a stunning effort to overcome obstacles and win at Moonee Valley at his only start and trainer James Cummings expects the colt to have benefitted from the outing.

“He faces a stiff test here at only his second start, but this colt is improving all the time,” Cummings said.

“He overcame a few sticky situations at Moonee Valley and still won very well, and there’s natural improvement to come.”

“Any two-year-old who can win first-up at the Valley in January is entitled to be given his chance in a Blue Diamond.”

Hanseatic is trained by Anthony Freedman who guided Lyre to her Blue Diamond victory a year ago and is the winner of his only two starts, both in emphatic style.

At his latest outing, Hanseatic overcame considerable difficulties to win first-up at Caulfield two weeks ago.

‘’He got a bit full of himself in the yard before the Preview, but still won very well,” said assistant trainer Sam Freedman.

“Hopefully he’ll be more relaxed this time, but he’s clearly a well above average colt.”

In Sydney, the two-year-old colts Destination and Marnix will be out to establish themselves among the top echelon at Warwick Farm.

Destination (Kerrin McEvoy), a winner on debut, who runs in the Listed Lonhro Plate, and Marnix (Nash Rawiller), another who is a winner at his only start, running in the Listed Inglis Millenium.

“Destination will enjoy a slick 1,000m, but we have to be conscious of what is likely to be a very heavy track,” Cummings said.

“There was a lot to like about the debut win of Marnix at Geelong and we feel he’s gone ahead since that race.”

“He is a colt who looks to be taking shape and this is a potentially lucrative opportunity to show he’s capable of mixing it with the good two-year-olds.”
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