Astern and El Divino dead heat in Kindergarten Stakes

The first day of ‘The Championships’ started off in sensational style with Astern and El  Divino dead heating for first in the opening race on the program, the Group 3 $200,000 Widden Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick today.

Astern, blue colours, and El Divino, white and green, dead heat in the Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Astern, blue colours, and El Divino, white and green, dead heat in the Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The $2.15 favourite Astern had a tough run three and four wide for most of the trip and tried valiantly to overhaul El Divino ($4.60) in the straight but the judge couldn’t split the pair on the line.

The Bjorn Baker trained Geneteau, a $51 outsider, battled on for third after setting the pace.

Both jockeys, James McDonald on Astern and Blake Shinn on El Divino couldn’t split the the colts either and were happy to share the major prize.

“I am happy to take a draw,” McDonald said immediately after the race and Shinn said the same.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse has a very big opinion of El Divino and is tipping the half brother to super mare Winx to be a Group 1 winner in the future.

“He is a very very special colt,” Waterhouse said.

“He is related to Winx who will start the short priced favourite in the Doncaster and probably win it with a leg in the air.”

“This is a Group 1 horse. This is a very very exciting horse.”

Astern was coming off a disappointing run in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago when eleventh after jumping from the outside alley and trainer John O’Shea wanted to give him another Autumn run.

“He just had an interrupted prep going into the Slipper and we felt that five months in the paddock going into the Spring was not what he needed so he came here today and looked in great order,” O’Shea said.
“The run never panned out for him.”

Kindergarten Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 EL DIVINO Gai Waterhouse Blake Shinn 5 56.5kg $4.60
1 1 ASTERN John O’Shea James McDonald 9 56.5kg $2.15F
3 9 GENETEAU Bjorn Baker Damian Lane 3.5L 2 54.5kg $51
4 7 ALLITERATE Pat Farrell Tommy Berry 4.2L 3 54.5kg $12
5 4 HOSTWIN LEGEND Gary Moore Zac Purton 4.9L 4 56.5kg $21
6 2 LIONHEARTED David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Hugh Bowman 5.9L 8 56.5kg $6.50
7 6 MOOSHAKISSA Peter & Paul Snowden Damien Oliver 6.7L 7 54.5kg $9.50
8 10 LET’S DREAM BIG Lee Curtis Ms Winona Costin (a) 7.3L 6 54.5kg $101
9 5 PRINCE CHABAL Anthony Cummings Jason Collett 9.4L 1 56.5kg $101

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