Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
The James Cummings-trained topweight Kementari remains narrow favourite in 2020 BRC Sprint betting for the feature race in Brisbane this weekend.
A reduced Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival gets into full swing on Saturday at Doomben Racecourse with a field of 10 sprint types facing off in the Group 3 $125,000 BRC Sprint (1200m).
Drawn gate eight with Ryan Maloney to ride with the 61kg topweight, the Godolphin-raced Kementari may have the hefty kilos but the punters are tipping class to prevail.
The Lonhro five-year-old chases his first win since the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in March of 2018 as a three-year-old.
He has been competitive in plenty since racking up a host of Group 1 minor placings before things went amiss in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in March last year.
A year on the sidelines followed before Kementari returned on March 28 this autumn finishing a close third only a half-length off the winner in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.
He was third again next-up at Randwick on April 18 carrying 60kg in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) defeating some nice types ahead of his BRC Sprint start on the weekend.
Kementari has firmed into $3.60 favouritism in the latest BRC Sprint odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and is expected to settle just off the pace before charging home late in a potential lead-up to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.
Following closely in BRC Sprint betting at $3.70 is the local Tony Gollan-trained Vega One drawn the outside alley (10) for apprentice hoop Baylee Nothdurft.
Gollan took out the BRC Sprint two years back with I’m A Rippa (2018) and is hoping to salute again this season with his consistent Lope De Vega gelding.
Vega One has strong form at the Doomben track (5:2-2-0) and showed his class with a $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) win at the Gold Coast back in January.
After a break he returned to run a first-up fourth at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m on ANZAC Day carrying 62kg and will relish the step-up in distance second-up coming back to 57kg in the BRC Sprint.
Gollan also saddles-up the early BRC Sprint market mover, Outback Barbie ($7 into $5) drawn a treat in barrier three for her first-up run on the weekend.
Jockey Jim Byrne is booked to ride the talented daughter of Spirit Of Boom, the four-year-old mare last seen winning the $1 million Magic Millions QTIS (1300m) back in January.
She looked good in a recent Doomben trial win over 1000m on April 21 ahead of her return to a track and distance she has had five previous starts over for two wins and two seconds.
Gollan confirmed the 2020 Stradbroke Handicap was on the agenda for Outback Barbie this season where he hopes the mare can break her Eagle Farm hoodoo.
“She won a strong trial two weeks ago and she has won three of her five runs first-up,” he told the media this week.
“The mare has raced against the top shelf her whole career and always does her best.
“Outback Barbie deserves a win in a Group 1 race and her only chance this winter is in the Stradbroke.
“Outback Barbie has twice been Group 2-placed on the big Randwick track and she handled Rosehill on a trip to Sydney.
“I suppose we will find out if there have been genuine excuses at Eagle Farm or she hates the place. Just a bad time to find out.”
Gollan prepared Outback Barbie’s sire dual Group 1 winning sire Spirit Of Boom and said he would love to take out an elite level with one of the now star stallion’s progeny.
“I trained Spirit of Boom to win two Group Ones and it would obviously also be great to train one of his daughters to win a big one like the Stradbroke,” he said.
Rounding out the single figure fancies in what is shaping up as a wide-open edition of the BRC Sprint are the rails drawn Victorem ($6.50) racing for the first time since a second in last October’s $1.3 million The Kosciuszko and the Robert Heathcote-trained Deep Image ($9) out to atone for an eighth in Sydney’s Hall Mark Stakes last time out.
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