Rising star Kementari has been added to the list of nominations to take on super star Winx in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Following the disappointment of losing dual Group 1 winner Alizee for the 2018 Spring Carnival after the mare bled following track work this morning, trainer James Cummings was quick to replace Alizee’s Winx Stakes nomination with Kementari’s after the Australian Turf Club had extended the entry deadline to 11am today.
Alizee will now have to sit out a mandatory three months away from racing after bleeding, but Kementari is fighting fit to continue his Spring Carnival campaign following his first up second to Pierata in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4.
“He worked too well this morning and it would have been too long to wait another month for him to run in the Memsie,” Cummings told racing.com.
“He was our best horse to gallop.”
“It is a perfect case of the up and comer taking on the champion.”
“We all like to see that.
“He is still a horse on the rise and it will be great for our sport.”
Kementari joined the Group 1 winner’s club during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win against the three year olds in the $1m Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 10.
The then Lonhro three year old took on the older horse at weight for age for a third behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Kementari was then spelled following his tenth to Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships on April 7.
Winx will be having her first start back since claiming her eighteenth Group 1 win and her twenty-fifth victory on the trot in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 14, day two of The Championships, and has pleased trainer Chris Waller in her lead up which included two Rosehill barrier trials.
The Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27 will be Winx’s main 2018 Spring Carnival goal to try to make it four Cox Plate wins in a row after winning the weight for age championship for the last three years in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Winx has been marked as the $1.15 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to make it twenty-six straight wins in a row in the Winx Stakes while Kementari is on the second line of betting at $8.50.
Early betting for the 2018 Winx Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.15 Winx, $8.50 Kementari, $10 D’Argento, $14 Ace High, $26 Unforgotten, $34 Cabeza De Vaca, Luvaluva, Showtime, Single Gaze, $101 Religify, $201 Classic Uniform, Invictus Prince, Libran, $301 Oriental Runner.