Despite running dead last in a failed Doncaster Mile title defence last Saturday, the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec is set to continue his Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Saturday week in the All Aged Stakes 2016.
The four-year-old son of Teofilo was one of the best in betting behind his star stablemate Winx for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), a race Kermadec won 12 months earlier carrying just 51kg.
He laboured under the 57kg top weight for this year’s Doncaster and, failing to let down on the Soft (6) track, he finished a distant 17 lengths off the historical winner Winx who set a new weight-carrying record for a four-year-old mare in the race with her 56.5kg.
Originally Waller was talking the spelling paddock for Kermadec, the dual Group 1 winning stallion pulling up after crossing 15th of 15 runners with an elevated heartrate and blood present in his mouth.
“Very disappointing,” Kermadec’s Doncaster Mile jockey Zac Purton said post-race.
“I had a lovely run in the race but I don’t know, we’ll see how he pulls up.”
That ruled out a seven day back-up into the lucrative $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) back at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ this weekend, a race the odds-on favourite Winx is also likely to miss.
While immediate plans for Street Cry four-year-old Winx look to be a let-up ahead of a spring return in Melbourne, where she won last year’s Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), Kermadec could still race on April 16.
Waller had said earlier in the week connections were looking at restricting the horse to sprint distances, but on Monday he told Racing NSW officials he had changed his position.
Waller is considering a shot at the $600,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) for the $2.84 million earner, a Sydney weight-for-age classic he won in 2009 with 7/1 shot Danleigh.
Last season the Peter Moody-trained Dissident became the first four-year-old All Aged Stakes winner since Gai Waterhouse’s class mare Shamekha in 2005.
Kermadec will need to undergo a full veterinary inspection and clearance before an All Aged Stakes bid.
Another possible surprise inclusion in the All Aged Stakes field this year is the John O’Shea-trained Exosphere.
The Golden Rose winning Lonhro colt failed to impress second-up in the weekend’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in open-age company when 11th behind the successful defending champion Chautauqua.
The three-year-old was beaten over eight lengths, but O’Shea was happy to forgive after Exosphere pulled up with an issue with his off foreleg.
The horse is making a quick recovery and could represent the Godolphin stable in the All Aged Stakes.
“We were concerned for the horse but I’ve got to say he is a lot better today,” O’Shea told the Herald Sun on Monday.
“If he continues to progress the right way then I will nominate him for the All Aged Stakes.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the All Aged Stakes 2016 and the other Sydney Group 1s before placing your bets online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!