Kementari and Jungle Cat chasing another Godolphin G1 at Flemington
Godolphin’s outstanding Melbourne Cup Carnival continues on Saturday with multiple G1 prospects led by Kementari in the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington.
Along with Charlie Appleby’s record-breaking runner Jungle Cat (William Buick), both Godolphin horses represent the class in a race that shapes as the hottest sprint of the Melbourne spring.
Kementari (Glyn Schofield) comes to the race off an eye-catching third in the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley two weeks ago, a run Cummings regards as an excellent trial for this race.
“He was very strong in the Manikato from a difficult position and has come on nicely since,” Cummings said, pointing out that Sunlight, the winner of last week’s G1 Coolmore Stakes, finished behind his horse.
“He’s deep into his preparation, but he’s thriving and a win here would completely forgive him for a campaign that hasn’t gone his way.”
“Once he gets something to go his way, he’s the sort of horse who can really start stringing them together.”
In what will be his final race, the dual G1 winner in 2018, Jungle Cat returns to short course racing after a tough run at 1600m in the G1 Toorak Handicap at his latest outing.
Before that, he was a brilliant winner of the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes at 1400m, having won the G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, over 1200m in Dubai, before that.
Appleby is satisfied that Jungle Cat will be better suited in this straight-track contest.
“This is his swansong," Appleby said.
"He's been a yard favourite. Obviously, the highlight of his career was the Al Quoz Sprint and for him to come over here and win the Rupert Clarke was a great achievement.
"It'll be tough for him but there's one thing about him - he won't lie down."
Among the opposition to the Godolphin pair is Redzel, a horse whose wins in the first two runnings of the rich sprint, The Everest, have made him one of Australia’s greatest ever money earners with racetrack earnings of more than A$15 million.
The Sprint Classic line-up also includes the Manikato Stakes winner Brave Smash and the runner-up Spirit Of Valour, one of four Aiden O’Brien-trained entrants.