Royal Blue revenge
Kementari out to do what Hartnell couldn’t and topple Winx
SEVEN times Hartnell tried to beat Winx, seven he failed.
Having essentially given up on the cause, it is now to his Royal Blue stablemate Kementari do what is considered by many as racing’s mission impossible, and beat Winx.
Not only that but beat her in the race that bears name.
Winx has used the Warwick Stakes as her spring starting point for the last two years – winning both.
This year Australian Turf Club changed the name of the race to pay tribute to world’s greatest racehorse.
It was expected to be another cakewalk, a breeze, a trot and canter for her.
Then on Tuesday something changed.
Godolphin’s head trainer James Cummings threw Kementari’s name in to the mix.
Game on. “We’d been considering running in this race for a long time,” Cummings said.
“His work on Tuesday morning was the best of any of ours so we’ve got no hesitation running.
“He came through his first-up run in great order and the end he was just training so well.”
Kementari has met Winx once in his travels finishing a very unlucky third to the great mare in an epic George Ryder Stakes.
Cummings, knowing that he saddles-up the ‘colt of the generation’ has enormous respect for Chris Waller’s mare but isn’t conceding defeat before they even step into the ring.
“We treat all the opposition with great respect. I personally have the greatest admiration for the mare, she is by a Sheikh Mohammed deceased stallion in Street Cry, but at the end of it Kementari is ready to run as well as he can second-up.
“It’s just going to be a pleasure being part of great day.”
As for Hartnell, he will be all of 850m away from Winx tomorrow, aiming to break through the $5m earning barrier with a second straight win in the Group 2 MRC P. B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“He might be an eight-year-old, but he’s still young at heart,” Cummings says.
“From what he’s shown us, he’s ready to run another nice race fresh.
“It looks to be a strong edition of this race, but that’s what we thought last year as well and he beat them comfortably.
“He’s going down a well-tried path, he’s bright and fresh and happy.”
Hartnell (left) and Kementari (right)