Godolphin's Kementari to take on Winx as the Australian super-horse bids for No26

Sport360 staff 19:11 15/08/2018
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Kementari running in the Randwick Guineas in March.

The prospect of tackling World No.1 Winx in a race named in her honour is undoubtedly a formidable task.

But Godolphin’s head Australian trainer James Cummings and his team are looking forward to Kementari renewing his challenge to the champion mare in Saturday’s G1 Winx Stakes at Randwick.

Kementari, then a three-year-old finished third, beaten a length and a half, behind Winx last March in the G1 George Ryder Stakes at their only meeting.

It can be expected that Kementari (Glyn Schofield) will have improved and matured since then, and he will need to have if he is to end Winx’s 25-win sequence.

For Cummings, though, the challenge is relished.

“It’s just going to be a pleasure being part of a great day,” Cummings said.

“He’s a good, young horse on the way up who showed last start that he’d come back in great order.

“We definitely have great respect for Winx, but there’s a bunch of nice horses, it’s not only her that we have to beat.”

Those prospects include the G1 Rosehill Guineas winner D’Argento and G1 Spring Champion Stakes and G1 Victoria Derby winner Ace High.

Kementari made his seasonal debut over 1,200m in the G2 Missile Stakes with a second placing that made the 1,400m of Saturday’s race look ideal at this stage of his preparation.

There’s no doubt it will also suit Winx who has won this race for the past two years when it was known as the Warwick Stakes. Her record, and her presence in it this year, prompted a name change and an elevation to G1.

While there is no denying the daughter of Street Cry, Cummings is satisfied Kementari will perform to G1 standard in a race that fits perfectly into his spring campaign.

“It’s a natural progression for him where it sits, two weeks after the Missile Stakes and two weeks before his next run in the Memsie at Caulfield.”

“He came through his first-up run in great order and in the end he was just training so well.

“His work on Tuesday morning was the best of any of ours, so we’ve got no hesitation running.”

As well-prepared as Kementari will be, he also has the vagaries of the weight-for-age scale to contend with.

When he last met Winx she had to give him half-a-kilogram, this time he has to carry 1.5kg more than her.

While she is attempting to win her 26th consecutive race on Saturday, Winx is also looking for her 30th overall victory and her 19th G1.

Success would take her racetrack earnings beyond A$19 million.

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