Young gun out to chal­lenge Winx

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - GOOD LUCK @NeilE­vans­mail NEIL EVANS

THANK God for Syd­ney’s star young brown stal­lion, Ke­men­tari. What started as a sim­ple record-break­ing ex­hi­bi­tion gal­lop for the un­touch­able Winx, now has a lit­tle sub­plot.

Bar un­fore­seen hor­ror luck, the world’s top gal­loper — not to men­tion the best man­aged and nursed in history — has only one horse her way ahead of the show­piece Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Rand­wick to­mor­row — four-year-old Ke­men­tari, last sea­son’s supreme colt and a sec­ond-up beast suited at the trip, has ar­rived to give us some sort of con­test, least on pa­per, although well dis­ad­van­taged at WFA against this mighty mare.

The rest are not within three post­codes, most pre­par­ing for longer jour­neys over the spring.

Okay, the writ­ing for a 26th straight win eclips­ing Black Caviar’s phe­nom­e­nal streak was prob­a­bly al­ready on the wall af­ter Winx’s su­per sec­ond trial when she fin­ished that well Hughie al­most needed an emer­gency “hand­brake” to stop her crash­ing into oth­ers through the line.

But out­side of Ke­men­tari, where are mid­dle dis­tance run­ners? Is it a big­ger claim to try and run sec­ond to the great one, or avoid her al­to­gether?

Ke­men­tari’s luck­less re­turn be­hind Pier­ata in the Group 2 Mis­sile (1200m) a fort­night back, run­ning his last 600m in 33.68 secs de­spite be­ing held up at the 350m, was top class, and we know he trains on big early in prep.

And ini­tially, I be­lieved Ke­men­tari could shake the life out of Winx’s mo­men­tous day, but I’ve re­lented.

Surg­ing past $19 mil­lion in stakes, Winx has prob­a­bly never had a more mea­sured and pre­cise build-up for spring Hughie reck­ons she’s never tri­alled bet­ter. To think $3.40 was about her be­ing un­de­feated in four runs this cam­paign. Grab it now, the re­al­ity is barely $2.40.

But if you have to mount an ar­gu­ment, re­mem­ber the Group 1 Ge­orge Ry­der (1500m) on Mar 24. In a sit-and-sprint, Winx — com­ing off a whirl­wind 7-len re­turn win in the Group 1 Chip­ping Nor­rton — typ­i­cally sat back trail­ing Ke­men­tari who was Happy Clap­per sat in the “breeze” on a mod­est tempo.

Winx was forced to go wide ear­lier, but aided by the rider’s much-crit­i­cised de­ci­sion to stay in on Ke­men­tari; while the “Clap­per” nat­u­rally fought on hard and Ke­men­tari got rolling late to re­ally hit the line.

So the tac­tic against Winx is sim­ple. Stack ‘em, pack ‘em and rack ‘em. The longer they “but­ton” off, the it will take Winx to put them to the sword. Ke­men­tari must race fur­ther for­ward, steal a midrace breather and then sprint like the pow­ers of you know what be­fore they hit the turn.

The other big “watch” over the fi­nal 400m is four-yearold stay­ing star and Rose­hill Guineas win­ner D’ar­gento. He’ll be smash­ing the line and is my early tip to win what might a weak Caulfield Cup in Oc­to­ber.

My WINX STAKES Tips: 1. WINX; 2. Ke­men­tari; 3. Day­light, then D’ar­gento.

AWAY from Winx, a hot lit­tle edi­tion of the Group 2 Sil­ver Shadow (1100m) at Set Weights awaits three-yearold Fil­lies. Mel­bourne raider and Group 1 Golden Slip­per

Sires’ pro­duce run­nerup Oo­hood; Group 3 Wid­den Stakes win­ner Fi­esta; Listed Fern­hill Fu­tooh and boom QLD back­marker MM placeget­ter Out­back Bar­bie all re­sume off some very slick work at the tri­als.

This will be a fil­lies’ plat­form, es­pe­cially look­ing ahead to the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on Sept 22, Flight Stakes a week later and Thou­sand Guineas at Caulfield on Oct. 13.

With the Rail out a sig­nif­i­cant 7m, I’m lean­ing to Out­back Bar­bie who gets the lovely camp be­hind a good speed and launches late, while fel­low big closer Fi­esta is the dan­ger.

My Early Value Se­lects RAND­WICK:

Race 1 1. CISCO BAY (E/W)**Ex­pect: $5.50 — $6.00 My Early Rat­ing: $3.60

Race 3 3. BROOK MAGIC**Ex­pect: $4.60 — $4.75 My Early Rat­ing: $3.10 Race 4 4. OUT­BACK BAR­BIE**Ex­pect: $4.50 — $4.75 My Rat­ing: $3.20

Race 4 1. FI­ESTA*Ex­pect: $4.25 — $4.65 My Rat­ing: $3.45

AND in a terrific re­turn of the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence (1400m) at Caulfield to­mor­row, I’ll be launch­ing into four-year-old stal­lion star on the rise and Group 1 Aus­tralian Guineas win­ner Grunt ($6.00) who has been work­ing bril­liantly ahead of his re­turn.

Star four-year-old Ke­men­tari chas­ing cham­pion mare Winx in the Ge­orge Ry­der Stakes.

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