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Kementari, Best of Days return in G1 Orr Stakes at Caulfield

Mike Hedge

This time last year Kementari began a campaign that led to him being hailed as one of Australia’s best three-year-old colts.

Twelve months on, he remains among the top bracket, but with a need to establish his place in the open-class hierarchy.

His trainer James Cummings believes Kementari (James McDonald) can take a big step towards achieving that in Saturday’s G1 C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield, a race in which he is accompanied by stablemate, and fellow G1 winner, Best Of Days (Craig Williams).

“This is a beautiful target first up and it’s easy to imagine him being highly competitive,” Cummings said.

“He’s enjoyed a very straightforward preliminary preparation, and he was able to hone in on the leader in his barrier trial.”

At the corresponding Sydney race meeting last year, Kementari won the G3 Eskimo Prince Stakes at Warwick Farm before advancing to the G2 Hobartville Stakes and then making it three wins on end in the G1 Randwick Guineas.

Kementari raced well in the spring, recording two G1 placings.

Significantly, the best of them was at Caulfield where he went down in a tight photo to Humidor in the Memsie Stakes over the same course and distance as Saturday’s race.

Best Of Days proved to be on the revelations of last spring in his first Australian preparation, graduating from restricted company to G1 success in the Cantala Stakes at Flemington.

Cummings is satisfied the horse has returned from his break in good order and is looking forward to another good showing on Saturday.

“There’s no doubt he’ll be better suited over further, but he was luckless fresh up last campaign and he has good enough 1,400m form to think he won’t be too far away,” the trainer said.

“He’s enjoyed a nice break and he appears set to return in good shape in what is a strong race.”