Kermadec has raced himself out of Sydney’s major spring handicap and into the country’s premier weight-for-age event with victory in the George Main Stakes.
Already a Group One winner of the Doncaster Mile, Kermadec was the clear-cut favourite for Saturday’s George Main Stakes (1600m) at $2.35.
With Glyn Schofield replacing the suspended Glen Boss, Kermadec travelled sweetly midfield with Pornichet ($6.50) working his way to the lead.
Once in the straight, Kermadec began his drive to the front and kicked clear to hold off his Chris Waller-trained stablemate Royal Descent ($5) by half a length.
Pornichet held off the chasing pack for third, a short head behind the runner-up.
“I have no qualms about him at 2000 metres and I think the Epsom is out now. He needs something bigger,” Waller said.
“We have several horses in the Epsom and I would be looking to the Cox Plate with Kermadec.
“He is a valuable horse now. He has a Doncaster win and if he can get a 2000-metre Group One it makes him even more appealing at stud.
“He is also a quality looking horse. He might not be So You Think, but he’s not far off, just a different colour.”
Kermadec was immediately elevated to the top of the TAB’s Cox Plate markets at $8 alongside Fawkner, winner of the Makybe Diva Stakes.
In Kermadec’s absence, Royal Descent will be one of Waller’s leading hopes in the $1 million Epsom in two weeks with her George Main second the sixth time she has been placed at Group One level.
“I’ll have to speak to (owner) Gerry Harvey before we make a final decision,” Waller said.
“I’m very proud of her. She always tries her hardest.”
Gai Waterhouse was not disappointed with Pornichet who will now head to Melbourne for the Turnbull Stakes.
“He was a victim of circumstance,” she said.
“It was a muddling-run race and Blake (Shinn) elected to go forward.
“Nothing went his way and I thought he ran very well.”
Schofield was fulsome in his praise of Kermadec.
“What a super horse he is,” he said.
“He has got an amazing turn of speed and he can go on any surface.
“Pornichet pinched a nice mark on straightening but I had him in my sights and it was never in doubt.
“I know I’m only warming the saddle and it is a warm saddle to be on.”