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Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Luck no excuse for Kementari

James Cummings won't hear of bad luck beating Kementari (Lonhro) in Saturday's G1 VRC Sprint Classic.

The Godolphin trainer said luck won't be used as an excuse for defeat for the 4-year-old , who has endured mixed fortunes throughout his campaign, with five top four finishes, but no wins.

"We need to see him make some of his own luck and we need to see him get up and win of one of these Group 1s like he did in the Randwick Guineas when he just looked fantastic that day," Cummings told Racing.com.

Cummings said Kementari did not need to be saved for one run over the 1200m at Flemington.

"I don't think we need to over-complicate these things. Glyn Schofield has got to use his judgement and he knows the horse back to front," he said.

"The pace of the race is instrumental. He's (Schofield) got to get the feeling in his hands with the horse and if he's able to let him loose at the right time, then he has the turn of foot to win a race like this."

"He's deep into his preparation, but he's thriving and a win here would completely forgive him for a campaign that hasn't gone his way."

Cracksman, Winx rated equal

Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) has been joined by Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}) at the top of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Cracksman's win the G1 Champion S. at Ascot last month has been rated at 130, equal of Winx’s best 2018 effort, which came in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. in April.

Best Solution (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) has gone to a career-best of 121 and equal 28th in the world with his win in the G1 Caulfield Cup, while The Autumn Son’s (Redoute's Choice) Caulfield Guineas performance was rated 120 or equal 38th.

Redzel (Snitzel) rated 121 for his win in The Everest, the same as last year.

Weight swing helps Great Shot

Ruling G1 Railway S. champion Great Shot (Magnus) is fit and ready to take on an elite field of eight in Saturday's G2 Waroa Lee-Steere S. at Ascot.

Great Shot was runner-up in this race last year before going on to win the Railway at his next start and trainer Rhys Radford feels he has the 6-year-old fully fit for his third-up assignment this time around.

"We are happy with him at the moment, every day has been a good day, so we are really looking forward to it," he told TABtouch Radio.

"He's going very well, in saying that it’s quite a quality field. You can see why they talk about the others."

Among those others is unbeaten mare Enticing Star (Testa Rossa) who is shooting for her ninth-straight win.

She had three-quarters of a length to spare over Great Shot when they met last month in the Listed Birthday S, but there is a 3.5kg weight swing in Great Shot's favour on Saturday.

That gives Radford some extra confidence, but he feels Enticing Star deserves favouritism.

"With luck in running, you never know especially with the weight difference, but we’ll need luck. She's a very nice horse."

Waller bullish about mare’s chances

Chris Waller is looking for more Group 1 spoils at Flemington with Shillelagh (NZ) (Savabeel) following her G1 Empire Rose S., success.

She will back up on Saturday in the G1 Seppelt Mackinnon S., where she will again be ridden by James McDonald.

“She backs up from last Saturday where she was an impressive winner and that was against the girls at weight-for-age,” Waller said.

“This race is for both sexes and James McDonald retains the ride. Barrier six shouldn’t pose any problem to her and hopefully she gets an economical run.”

Waller said the 7-year-old mare should appreciate the step-up in distance and he is bullish about her chances of adding a third Group 1 victory to her tally.

“She shouldn’t have to get as far back as she does over shorter distances and that might make things a little easier for her,” he said.

“Clearly she loves Flemington, this is her first time over 2000m but the family that she is from would suggest that it won’t be any issue and being well into her preparation it is the right time to be trying her.

“I am quietly confident that she will be hard to beat.”

Kiwi 4YO primed for Rosehill

New Zealand-trained 4-year-old Mark Two (NZ) (Pins) will contest the Australian Turf Club H., at Rosehill on Saturday, with connections confident she can bounce back.

Prepared by Stephen Marsh for Go Racing, Mark Two was a strong winner at Gosford last month before disappointing when out of the money last time out at Randwick.

“Second-up she took off a bit early and she just battled,” Go Racing principal Albert Bosma said.

“However, after the race she came up in lumps and bumps like hives everywhere, so she can’t have been feeling 100 percent.

“Her bloods are good, and she has improved. I think third-up we will see a much better performance.

“It should be a good track and from barrier two she will get a nice run. She is a quality mare that is over the odds and I think she is in the race up to her eyeballs.”

Mark Two

Concern over handicap

Richard Collett has a weighty issue on his mind with Untamed Diamond (Snitzel) ahead of Saturday’s Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint at Te Rapa.

Topweight of 60kg is tempering the Pukekohe trainer’s confidence that she can successfully defend her crown.

Untamed Diamond carried 57kg to victory 12 months ago and while Collett is pleased with her preparation for this year's race, he felt the extra weight was the biggest obstacle.

“Her preparation has been good. She won this race last year on one run back, whereas she's had two runs back this time,” he said.

“She's fully fit but doesn't come into the race anywhere near as good under the weight conditions as she did last year. She's ended up being topweight and she's not a big mare so that's my biggest concern.

“But she's in really good order and I expect her to go a big race. It would help if the track has a bit of give and I have looked at the forecast and there's a front closing in so there's a good chance we will get some rain.”

Collett and his fellow co-owners did discuss stud options for the mare heading into the spring, but have opted to concentrate on her racing this season, with the G1 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.