Three-year-old colt Kumaon delivered a solid jumpout at Werribee on Friday morning, pleasing trainer John O’Shea.
Kumaon settled midfield and despite not being asked to do too much work on his first public appearance since October last year, the colt held his ground in the straight to be beaten around two and a half lengths in the eight-horse 800 metre workout.
“John was very pleased with him,” Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh told Racing Victoria.
“There was a bit of sting out of the track, which doesn’t necessarily hurt him and he travelled very strongly on the bit right up behind them and was not beaten that far.”
Kumaon had a hit-and-miss spring campaign last year, finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) first-up on August 30 but failing to make much of the main event – Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
The colt then finished third in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) and just missed out on a placing in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) by a nose. He finished the spring with a dead last run in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) after finding himself held up back at the tail.
Kumaon’s connections aren’t focusing too much on that result however, with Walsh noting that Sheikh Mohammed’s operation are confident he can match his fine fourth placing in the Caulfield Guineas in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7.
“If he can bring that Caulfield Guineas form, the Australian Guineas would be a really nice for him,” Walsh said.
The Godolphin racing manager also noted that with the 2015 Australian Guineas and Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) running on the same day this year, the Godolphin team has had to be split up. So while Kumaon will remain in Melbourne, Sweynesse will travel to Sydney.
“With the Australian Guineas and Randwick Guineas falling on the same day this year, you’re forced to split your team up so we’ve set Sweynesse for the Randwick Guineas and we set Kumaon for the Australian Guineas,” he said.
The 2015 autumn racing carnival is heating up. Open your online betting account and place your first bet to receive a bonus match worth $250. Just quote code: BETBONUS.