Royal Blue re­venge

Ke­men­tari out to do what Hart­nell couldn’t and top­ple Winx

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - SHAYNE O’CASS

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)

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