Godolphin trainer James Cummings is hopeful Kementari’s return in the C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield is the perfect start to the horse’s best campaign.
Kementari has in the past been a spring tease, being unsuccessful in two previous campaigns, although he has been placed in notable Group One races like the Caulfield Guineas, Memsie Stakes and Manikato Stakes.
Three of Kementari’s four wins came last autumn, including the Group One Randwick Guineas.
He kicked off with success in the Eskimo Prince Stakes, run on the corresponding weekend last year, something that not lost on Cummings ahead of his retrun in Saturday’s 1400m-race.
“We’ve had a good start to the year and I think we can hit the ground running in the Group Ones with Kementari,” Cummings said.
“Hopefully this can be his best campaign and he’s done nothing to disappoint in the lead-up.
“The C F Orr is a time-honoured race to kick off in and I’m very respectful of his opposition so he’ll have to return at a really high level.
“We don’t want to focus too much on what remains for his campaign but it’s really important that he goes out and delivers first-up, even if it’s a glimpse of what he’s shown us in the past.”
Cummings said Kementari had undergone a strong grounding for his return.
“This is an excellent race for him to test himself at Group One and weight-for-age level again,” Cummings said.
“I can picture him being really competitive against these horses.”
Godolphin and Cummings will also be represented by Best Of Days.
The import is having his first shot at weight-for-age company and is coming off a last-start victory in the Group One Cantala Stakes at Flemington in November.
Cummings admitted weight-for-age was a challenge for Best Of Days but said there was much to say he could manage the step up.
“He’s only raced once here with the blinkers on and that was a personal best at the end of his last preparation,” Cummings said.
“Weight-for-age is weight-for-age and he’s going to need to go ahead, so we’ll how he performs.”