Dubai: Fresh from winning the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville Racecourse last week, Godolphin’s Australia-based handler James Cummings takes aim at the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane, with the Darley homebred Kementari.
A winner of the Randwick Guineas (Group 1) in 2018, the son of Lonhro aims to snap an 13-race losing streak when he makes the trip to a heritage-listed horse racing venue in Queensland.
Ryan Maloney takes the ride on Kementari, who has raced three times this season, and finished third on two occasions at Group 3 level.
Run over 1,200 metres, the Victory Stakes is a weight for age contest for horses aged three years old and upwards.
It is one of the highlights of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and offers a purse of A$200,000.
Kementari faces 14 rivals led by Magic Millions Quality scorer Outback Barbie, multiple black type winner Winter Bride and the improving Tambo’s Mate.
A horse with plenty of ability, Kementari has picked up nicely on his return to the racecourse after a failed career at stud.
“On paper his last run was easy to forgive, we’ve forged ahead with the horse and I think he can win,” Cummings told the Godolphin website.
“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.”
Saturday’s 10-race card at Eagle Farm also features the Group 2 Champagne for which only eight juveniles have stood their ground.
Among them is the Godolphin homebred Bayliks which will look to make it third time lucky for trainer Cummings. He will be ridden by Larry Cassidy.
Among his rivals are the well-regarded Rothfire last seen suffering a shock defeat in The QTIS Jewel on the Gold Coast in March.
Prior to that he won his first four starts by a combined 15 lengths.