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Kementari grabs wildcard entry into Magic Millions Cup

Mon 3 January 2022

By Glenn Davis

Failed stallion prospect Kementari has grabbed a wildcard entry into the $1 million Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast with a commanding win in The Buffering at Doomben on Saturday.

The James Cummings-trained gelding landed some huge bets after being backed from $7 into a $4.20 favourite when he outgunned the Chris Waller-trained Kiku to score by half-a-length with Apache Chase, a further one-and-a-half lengths away third.

Kementari, winner of the Group 1 Randwick Guineas in 2018, stood one season at stud where he had low fertility rate, serving 54 mares and siring only five live foals.

Two of the foals will go through the Magic Millions sales later this month.

Owners Godolphin decided against continuing his career at stud and gelded him after the 2019 breeding season and reignited his racetrack career.

In a brilliant ride from Nash Rawiller, the seven-year-old got back in the early stages before swooping late to snatch his seventh career win, taking his earnings to more than $2.5 million.

Affectionally known as "Special K", Kementari had never been tried on a heavy track but it didn’t deter his legion of followers.

While all honours were with Kementari, trainer Desleigh Forster and jockey Jim Byrne were thrilled with Apache Chase’s effort to finish third.

“I was over the moon with Apache Chase,” Byrne said.

“He doesn’t like the wet tracks and doesn’t let down well.

“He tried hard and was very good. If he was on top of the ground, I know who’d be the winner.”

Meanwhile it was a day of mixed emotions for trainer Tony Gollan after wins from Tiger Heart in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate and Salateen in the Listed Nudgee Stakes.

Gollan was rueing the decision by Tiger Heart’s owners not to pay up for the Magic Millions when the three-year-old outgunned Sydney raider Shinonka in the Vo Rogue Plate.

Tiger Heart has proven to be a Doomben specialist, notching up his second win in three starts at the venue while also living up to his strong record on wet tracks winning twice on soft tracks and now his first in heavy going.

“He probably should be unbeaten when you go back thought his record,” said Gollan, who now plans to spell the Better Than Ready gelding to prepare for the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Gollan also had star mare Isotope due to make her comeback in the Vo Rogue but chose to scratch her when the track was downgraded to a Heavy 10.

Isotope, who is on the comeback trail following a serious colic attack in June, will now head straight into the Magic Millions Snippets at the Gold Coast on January 15.