Godolphin trainer James Cummings has confirmed three-year-old colt Kementari will take on champion Winx in the Group One George Ryder Stakes.
Kementari has stamped himself as a rising star this preparation with three dominant wins in the Group Three Eskimo Prince Stakes, Group Two Hobartville Stakes and Group One Randwick Guineas.
Cummings is under no illusions about the task ahead in Saturday’s weight-for-age 1500m race at Rosehill but confirmed in a Godolphin video on Tuesday afternoon, the colt would take his place.
“Kementari had his main lead-up gallop in preparation for the Group One George Ryder Stakes on Saturday this morning and I couldn’t be much happier with the way our colt has come out of the Randwick Guineas,” Cummings said.
“I feel like the George Ryder is the run the colt is definitely going to need in the lead-up to the Doncaster, which is the race we have our eyes firmly fixed on at the moment.
“And of course coming up against Winx is something that we have the greatest amount of respect for when it comes to the challenge of that event.”
The Chris Waller-trained 16-time Group One winner Winx was the $1.10 favourite on Tuesday to win her third George Ryder and stretch her winning sequence to 24.
Kementari is second favourite at $8, with acceptances taken on Wednesday.
“We couldn’t be happier with Kementari and we’ve got our feet firmly on the ground about just how far behind in achievements and worldwide ratings he is off her (Winx), but nevertheless he’s a rising star and this is the main lead-up race that he needs for the Doncaster just to be perfect within himself, then we’re happy to saddle him in that race,” Cummings said.
Kementari is the $4 favourite for the $3 million Doncaster Mile on April 7 at Randwick.
The George Ryder is one of five Group One races on Saturday’s program which features the $3.5 million Golden Slipper for two-year-olds in which Godolphin has second emergency Gongs.