Dubai: On a day which best illustrated the Dubai-owned Godolphin stable’s global ambitions, as many as 19 horses carrying the famous Royal Blue colours were seen in action at six racecourses in Australia and Japan.
Godolphin handler James Cummings, who operates out of the Sydney-based Leilani Lodge Stables in Randwick, accounted for 15 of them while several highly-regarded Japanese handlers were responsible for the Darely Japan representatives.
Cummings, who just last week gifted Godolphin with their fourth Group I victory of the season when he saddled leading sprinter Trekking to win the Goodwood Handicap at Morphitville racecourse in Adelaide, may have been denied another Group success but he still came away with two trophies and three places.
Kementari, winner of the Group 1 Randwick Guineas in 2019, was Godolphin’s principal contender where he lined up in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane.
However the five-year-old son of Lonhro’s chances were compromised by a poor start and although he picked up readily in the run to the judge, it came too late and he had to settle for a disappointing eighth place behind the winner, the 16/1 outsider Victorem ridden by Mark Du Plessis.
With Ryan Maloney doing the steering, Kementari was always trying to play catch-up in the 1,200 metre contest run on good ground and appeared to make headway behind a field closely bunched together. He looked to have found another gear at the one furlong marker, but could not make an impact on the horses ahead of him.
Meanwhile, Stewards temporarily stopped racing at Eagle Farm after the second race to investigate a possible bomb threat which proved to be a hoax.
Racing resumed without any further incident.
The other feature race on the Winter Racing Carnival card was the Group 2 Champagne Stakes, where Godolphin’s Beyliks finished fourth behind the 7/2 favourite Rothfire.
Meanwhile at Newcastle racecourse, also known as the Broadmeadow Racecourse, Cummings landed the Newcastle Maiden Handicap for two-year-olds with the New Zealand-bred Jeronimos. The winner was ridden by Jeff Penza.
A hour later, Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy supplied Cummings with his second success of the day when riding Coruscate to victory in the At Sea Handicap over five furlongs on soft ground.
In Tokyo, it was the turn of Queen Elizabeth Cup (G1) handler Keiji Yoshimura to add to Godolphin’s successful day when Ice Storm, a product of Darley Japan, won the May Stakes over 1,800 metres under Japanese great, Yutaka Take, who holds seven all-time records in his native country.