Despite Godolphin ruling Kementari out of The Everest, the $13 million race remains an option for his stablemate Home Of The Brave after his convincing Theo Marks Stakes win.
Home Of The Brave won the Group Two Theo Marks at Rosehill on Saturday at his second Australian start, beating D’Argento and the then-favourite for The 2018 Everest, Trapeze Artist, to press his claims for a spot in next month’s race.
“That was the attraction of the Theo Marks,” trainer James Cummings told RSN927.
“We could have waited another week and given him another look up the straight at Flemington where he is at home given his straight-track experience in the UK, but what would it have really told us in terms of a race as big as that?
“I think he caught the attention of the right people and I think that if we were really serious about it then we could definitely get very interested with Home Of The Brave.
“He’s not lightly raced. He’s got an exposed record, but he seems to have enjoyed settling in in Australia and it’s possible that he’s right up there with the fastest of all our fast horses here.”
The Darren Weir-trained Nature Strip is reportedly set to clinch the Australian Turf Club’s slot which would leave only one slot remaining.
That is held by a group led by Max Whitby and Cummings indicated they had touched base with Godolphin Australia’s managing director Vin Cox.
“They’ve been in contact with Vin but that’s just normal,” he said.
“I’m sure they keep their contacts going and they keep the communication up at all times.
“He (Vin) knows what the company wants and I just concentrate on the horse and let that all play out.”
Cummings said Home Of The Brave had come through Saturday’s win in great order.
“He’s a top horse and I think he’ll run well in whatever we set him for,” he said.
“If it’s not the Everest so be it, but there’s plenty of other beautiful targets for the horse in the coming spring.
“The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes would be a really interesting option for a horse like him.”