He’s yet to win a race heading into the Group 1 2012 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday but that doesn’t mean Knight Exemplar is without a chance.
The John O’Shea-trained colt is stepping into the $500,000 event against a number of big name three-year-old sprinters including Snitzerland, Sizzling and Nechita.
Despite the lack of winning success, Knight Exemplar has been impressive in his young career so far, securing minor placings in all four start including being beaten by a head in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes.
He is currently a $13.00 chance but O’Shea said he can be competitive in this grade and is hoping to avenge last year’s result when Foxwedge was beaten by star Darley colt Sepoy.
Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller will be riding Knight Exemplar on race day for the first time this weekend, the same rider who was on Foxwedge last year.
Rawiller rode him in a jump-out down the Flemington straight on Tuesday and is confident he is up to the grade of Group 1 competition on Saturday.
“I gave him a trial down the straight at Flemington on Tuesday and was very happy,” Rawiller said.
“He gave me the impression that he’s the type of horse that could go and race in this company and be very competitive.”
Knight Exemplar is one of two John O’Shea-trained colts in the field, with Shelford also stepping out in Melbourne for the first time.
But the Golden Slipper seventh will have to bounce back from a disappointinf first-up run where he was fifth in the Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick.
Patinack filly Nechita is currently topping the market for the Coolmore Stud Stakes at $3.60 with in-form sprinter Snitzerland at $3.80 to record a fifth straight win.
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