Cummings in awe of silky smooth Kementari
KEMENTARI might have produced one of the most exciting and dominant big-race wins of the season at Royal Randwick on Saturday - but the best is yet to come.
Godolphin trainer James Cummings made the claim and it was no idle boast after Kementari monstered his rivals in the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m).
"We haven't seen the best of him yet,'' said Cummings, pointing out the three-year-old colt was having only his ninth start, scoring his fourth win and his first at racing's highest level.
"My heart was just pumping before the barriers opened because I did not see how they could beat him today.
"The last thing I said to Glyn (Schofield) was do not go too soon on him. Glyn didn't just count to five, he counted to 10 before he let him go.
"Kementari then puts in those big bounds, that is the sort of horse Sheikh Mohammed has been chasing with runners in Group 1 and Group 2 races around the world. Horses like him are going to get him excited.
"I had a fearful amount of confidence in the horse's opportunity to win today but that performance was awesome.''
Kementari came from midfield on the turn and unleashed an electrifying burst to take out the Randwick Guineas by a widening one-and-a-half lengths from Pierata with Trapeze Artist a neck away third.
Ace High, the Spring Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby winner, showed he was on track for the ATC Australian Derby with his close fourth, just in front of Siege Of Quebec.
"I think they are a great group of three-year-old and Kementari has to be up there near the top,'' Cummings said.
"He is a serious horse. We've had him tuned up to perfection today in a serious race and it was the class horses that fought it out.
"Kementari is a mouth-watering colt, silky smooth, he's put them away in a Randwick Guineas in the style of a really high class colt."
A superbly bred colt by Lonhro, Kementari is now worth an estimated $20 million as a future stallion prospect - not that he is for sale.
"They were racing for a lot more than $1 million today,''Cummings said.
"It was a massive result for the company. It provides a lot of vindication for our racing operation as one day he will graduate to a Darley (Stud) farm.''
Schofield conceded he got a little further back early than he anticipated on Kementari but he always felt the colt had the race in his control.
"We went back to riding him to allow his explosiveness to be evident when it was needed,'' Schofield said. "The pace was so genuine from the first 100m, I just slotted in anywhere he was comfortable and he did the rest.''
Schofield was later suspended for eight meetings for causing interference shortly after the start on Kementari. He will begin his suspension on March 18 and will return on April 3.
Meantime, Corey Brown was also suspended for weighing in a kilogram overweight on Miss Que. The ban will rule him out of riding on Golden Slipper Day.