Gamblers have long had a love-hate relationship with Kementari, but you could feel the love in Doomben’s air as they took to gambling on the enigmatic “Special K.”
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that wasn’t the case for Kementari, who took on a heavy track for the first time in his career.
Godolphin’s team admitted there were some doubts about Kementari at a Heavy 10 at Doomben heading into the $ 200,000 The Buffering.
But bettors had no such problems and backed the sprinter from $ 7 to start with the $ 4.20 favorite. And that was after $ 13 was offered earlier in the week.
Kementari did not disappoint when he returned home to Nash Rawiller to score on The Buffering and catch a wild-card entry in the $ 1 million Gold Coast Magic Millions Cup on January 15.
It means that Kementari, trained by James Cummings, will compete the same week that two of his descendants go through the sales ring at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale: a filly from Mithila and a colt from With Care.
Nash Rawiller climbs again with Kementari. Image: Track photography
“This victory was special for Kementari – he is a very popular horse among our organization, everyone in the Godolphin team loves and adores this horse and it means a lot to everyone,” said Australian Godolphin Managing Director Vin Cox.
“For various reasons, he is a bit polarizing horse, but in his day he is an outstanding horse.
“Leaving a field like this shows that it is in very good condition.
“The heavy track was always a concern, but we have never had doubts with a soft track.
“Now you have checked another box.
“When she went to the stallion, she didn’t prove to be that fertile and she only has two foals and they are both in the Magic Millions sales.”
Jockey Nash Rawiller, who doesn’t normally wear his emotions up his sleeve, gave a little salute as he crossed the line at Kementari.
“He’s a lovely horse and he was nice,” Rawiller said.
“I bought it again and got it shut down right away … when it came time to go down the 150m, I had a lot of horses under me.”
Apache Chase, the early favorite, ranked well in third place after being a big tramp at stakes of $ 3.20 to $ 4.60 as the track was downgraded multiple times.
“We have two weeks in,” Apache Chase trainer Desleigh Forster declared after the race.