Charging home to win the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) by a short nose on May 3rd this year, Morphettville-based trainer Richard Jolly has revealed he will seek further Group 1 glory with talented gelding Kushadasi via the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1st.
A standout performer over his entire 2014 autumn preparation, Kushadasi completed an ideal lead-in to the South Australian Derby in finishing second in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 12th and fighting fourth in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) just one week prior.
Pleased with the way the four-year-old has taken to his time in the paddock and return to work, Jolly told AAP the Mackinnon Stakes figures as the perfect target for Kushadasi this time in, with the step back to 2000m and Flemington surface an ideal combination.
“The Mackinnon can turn out to be a bit of a race that everyone dodges sometimes,” Jolly said.
“Everything is either tired from running in the Cox Plate or getting ready for the Melbourne Cup but it’s a $1 million race.
“It’s still a hard race to win but that’s the kind of race that would suit him – 2000 metres at Flemington.”
Securing an impressive total of five wins and three minor places from just ten competitive starts to date, Kushadasi stamped his claims as one to watch over his debut racing preparation through the 2013 spring; finishing a close second in the Kevin Sheedy In Gawler Maiden (1200m) first-up before securing back-to-back victories in the Thomas Foods International Maiden (1200m) and John And Esther Handicap (1526m) in late August.
Returning to racing for second in the Dominant Handicap (1200m) on February 1st, the Choisir gelding appeared out of his depth when ninth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on February 15th, but responded in the best way possible when completing back-to-back victories in minor events over a mile prior to the Port Adelaide Guineas.
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