Tough Adelaide sprinter Kemalpasa will be aimed at Group One races next year after he led throughout to win the Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown.
“He’s really flying. I hope one day he can crack it for a Group One win,” co-trainer Richard Jolly said after Saturday’s 1300 metre Group Two triumph.
Jolly, whose daughter Chantelle is co-trainer, said he was concerned going into the race that the first two events at Sandown had played to horses which ran on.
He need not have worried as jockey Craig Williams took Kemalpasa straight to the front and he was able to control the tempo and hold out the other leader, Streets Of Avalon, to gain that position.
Jolly said when he watched the race he was confident Kemalpasa would win as he was a tough horse who was always hard to get past.
The victory was his 11th career win from 29 starts and his second in a row as he also claimed the Linlithgow Stakes at Flemington at his previous start.
Craig Williams said he spoke to Jolly on Friday and leading was one of the options they discussed.
“Our plan was to trust the horse. We were very confident he would back up after winning the Group Two race at Flemington,” Williams said.
Williams said if it wasn’t for the difficulty in travelling due to COVID-19, Kemalpasa would have run in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November 28.
“That would have been a sensational race for him but due to COVID he was unable to make the plane. It’s good luck for me and my team,” Williams said.
Just as Kemalpasa has done in the past two runnings of the Linlithgow Stakes, he defeated the other $3.60 equal favourite Order Of Command by a length with Neighbourhood ($14) a further three-quarters of a length away third.