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Avilius and Kiamichi should have conditions to suit at Randwick

Mike Hedge

A more suitable distance and a softer track should work strongly in favour of the high-class performer Avilius in Saturday’s G2 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick.

Having emerged as a star of Godolphin’s Australian team last autumn with G1 wins at 2,000m and 2,400m, Avilius resumed at Randwick two weeks ago with a solid fourth in the G1 Winx Stakes.

“That was always going to be a formidable task for him at 1,400m on a quick track,” said trainer James Cummings.

“But I was pleased to see him hit the line the way he did and we’re looking forward to this, particularly if the track has the expected give in it that he likes.”

“He’s pressed on as normal and forged ahead since his run in the G1."

“The opposition looks quite solid, so it’ll be a good test that he's ready to tackle.”

Avilius has proved both his class and durability since transferring from Andre Fabre in France, where he’d won twice.

In his initial Australian campaign, Avilius reeled off four wins in succession before finishing a creditable fourth behind Winx in the G1 Cox Plate and then being put out of the race in an early incident in the G1 Melbourne Cup.

He has since won another four races, most recently the G1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill in March.

Avilius will be joined at Randwick by G1 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi who has the second run of her latest campaign in the G2 Furious Stakes with Cummings expecting improvement.

“She finished back in the pack first-up, but she wasn't knocked about after suffering interference late in the race.”

“That first-up run blew the cobwebs out and on a more suitable surface here she can improve.”

Kiamichi will be confronted by Libertini, the filly rated the best of her age in Australia and the winner of the past three of her only four starts.

While most attention will be focussed on the spring feature-race contenders at Stakes level, the unbeaten Godolphin three-year-old Pandemic will also attract a high degree of interest in an ungraded three-year-old handicap.

The son of Sepoy has shown above-average ability in wins at Wyong and Kensington in his only two outings and graduates to Saturday class here for the most serious test of his short career.