For two Saturday’s in succession Randwick has been bathed in luxurious shades of blue with first the dark blue of Winx’s silks and secondly the royal blue silks of Kementari. The former a world champion on turf and the second, at least, the best of his generation over the 1600m of the testing Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas.
The Queen certainly reigns, looking as good, if not better than before, and we can now watch the progress of a relative youngster at the court of greatness as he makes his own mark. On Saturday Godolphin’s Kementari under Glyn Schofield was still not ultimately tested and yet he won with the authority and athleticism we are used to seeing from Winx.
The Lonhro colt beat a good field of his class mates, by 1 1/2L easing down, in a new race record time of 1.33.72 covering the last 400m in devastating fashion that simply was not able to be matched by the rest.
Pierata under Corey Brown was second and he clocked 1.33.97, a good time just outside Le Romain’s former record of 1.33.82. He covered the final 200m in 11.91, but Kementari did it easing in 11.65. For future reference we should not overlook Ace High’s (fourth) final 200m in 11.94 and D’Argento’s in 11.86 (seventh).
New tests await Kementari, perhaps the Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 7th with 51.5kg. But looking further ahead if Godolphin keep him in training, a major decision since he is now a very valuable stud proposition, there is the step to weight-for-age next season and the prospect of international travel.
Should Winx not make the trip to the UK later in the year the leading minds at Ascot, York and Goodwood can make a case to the international stable that Kementari might very well be a suitable candidate for their meetings from Australia, if a year later.
Trainer James Cummings has made no secret of his admiration for Kementari and what he may achieve and on Saturday the colt made very clear why his conditioner has such a high opinion of him.
Kementari and Glyn Schofield, picture Stevehart.com.au
While Kementari was the highlight on a warm early autumn afternoon there was plenty of action throughout the programme.
The two-year-old’s went out in the Group 2 double of Reisling Stakes and Todman Stakes. Estijaab won the former and Aylmerton the latter and the end result was that the Tony McEvoy trained Sunlight continued to firm into $4.00 with TAB.com.au for the $3m, Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24th.
Redzel under Kerrin McEvoy set a new course record for 1000m when winning the Group 2 WFA Hyland Colours Challenge Stakes after Super Too and Blake Shinn lit the turbo chargers from the barriers. The speed was, literally challenging for the rest, but not for Redzel who was rated perfectly by McEvoy and they zoomed home in 33.09 to win by 1 3/4L.
Corey Brown, who rode English to fifth, commented afterward that he had ridden in a few Challenge Stakes and could not ever remember such a fast pace. The pace and winning margin just gave the red army of owners and supporters of Redzel more time to celebrate and with $8,221,750 in earnings they are enjoying each and every moment.
Happy Clapper showed his Randwick class winning the Group 1 WFA Bisley Workwear Canterbury Stakes over 1300m making it a family day as his two-year-old half-brother Not A Single Cent won the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400m at Flemington earlier in the afternoon. Oh, Happy Clapper also races in dark blue silks, with black seams, while Winx has a white M and epaulettes and pompom, as a Queen should.
Fortunately Hugh Bowman escaped serious injury when he was left in air after Performer suddenly went left in the Todman Stakes, so he should be able to accompany Winx in her next race, the Group 1 WFA George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on the 24th.
The mid-air tumble and subsequent hard crash to the turf was a moment of pause for everyone. When Bowman pushed himself up into a half-sitting position there was audible relief from the crowd. It was a reminder of the swiftness of the sport, of outright speed, but also how that swiftness can cause trauma.
Outside of the anxiety of Bowman’s accident it was a satisfactory day of racing with Kementari treating everyone to what might just be a sample of his developing powers.
Next week racing moves to Rosehill with the Coolmore Stakes meeting commencing three days of racing over the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival.
Kementari, Lonhro - Yavanna (Redoutes Choice), picture Sportpix.com.au