The Coolmore Stud Stakes is a $1 million race but trainer James Cummings is aware it is worth even more for the future of the three colts he will start in the race if one is successful.
Cummings is in his first spring carnival as the head trainer of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in Australia and has the unbeaten Viridine, Caulfield Guineas runner-up Kementari and Malahat in Saturday’s Coolmore (1200m) at Flemington.
A Group One win to any of those colts would enhance their stud value.
“It’s a really important race for the company because it’s a Group One at set weights over 1200 metres (for three-year-olds) and it’s the only race of that nature throughout the whole season,” Cummings said.
“…It’s a race that could have a really big bearing on the futures of these horses so it’s a very valuable race for them to run well in.”
Viridine is unbeaten in his four starts and is the $7.50 favourite on race eve in a capacity field of 20.
Cummings doesn’t believe there should be such a price discrepancy between Viridine and Kementari at $15.
“I find it really hard to split Kementari and Viridine because they are both really classy colts,” Cummings said.
“I would say they definitely have the edge on Malahat.
“The point I would make is that Kementari should definitely be considered to be a better chance than the odds suggest at the moment.”
Kementari is dropping back to 1200m after his second in the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last start.
“He’s got a really wicked turn of foot,” Cummings said.
Cummings believes Kementari’s best will be in the autumn but can see him charging home late on Saturday in a high-pressure race.
He referred to Flying Artie sprinting past quality colts Astern, Star Turn and Extreme Choice among others last year after and said he could see Kementari producing something similar.
He said Viridine was a different type from Kementari.
“He’s really fast, robust,” Cummings said.
“There’s a lot of size to him and he can cope with a lot of pressure too.
“In fact he’d prefer it I think.”
Viridine’s record includes wins in the Heritage Stakes and Roman Consul Stakes in Sydney and he gets his first crack at a Group One race.