By Ray Hickson
She was once rated a Group 1 winner in waiting and while Ghisoni may still reach those heights expectations are low in the Godolphin camp for her long awaited return from a 15 month absence at Rosehill on Saturday.
Trainer James Cummings said the five-year-old has enjoyed plenty of time to recover from set-backs following her last run in Brisbane in June last year.
“She’s trialled very well and has had an excellent preparation,’’ Cummings said.
“She’s been in and out of the stables as part of her rehabilitation from the set-back she suffered.’’’
Ghisoni, with Brenton Avdulla taking the ride, has been kept safe in TAB betting at $6.50 for the Group 3 $150,000 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) though Cummings is cautious about her chances.
Ghisoni's latest barrier trial at Randwick – August 21
She faces a top class field of mares including Bonny O’Reilly, Daysee Doom, Omei Sword and Ravi and Cummings knows it’s going to be no easy task to win.
“I picked out the Sheraco as a beautiful re-introduction to racing without having to put her under too much pressure,’’ Cummings said.
“But it’s looking like a top-tier mare’s race, so this will certainly give us an indication of just how well Ghisoni has returned.
“I think she’ll have to be at her best to be beating these mares.”
Cummings is keen to see how promising three-year-old Kementari measures up against boom colts Menari and Pariah in the Group 2 $200,000 Run To The Rose (1200m).
The major lead up to the Group 1 Golden Rose later this month promises to be a fascinating race especially with early favourite Menari drawing the outside alley.
Cummings said Kementari has had a solid grounding for his first-up assignment and is in no doubt that he’s a colt with plenty of potential.
“He’s going into the race with a reputation built mainly on potential,’’ he said.
“It’s now time for us to find out what he’s made of.
“He’s likely to start around third favourite among horses like Menari and Pariah who both returned with slashing first-up wins over 1100 metres.
Kementari wins his Randwick barrier trial – August 21
“He’s also going to be ahead of others in the market who are pretty accomplished, like Chauffeur.”
Cummings said whatever Kementari produces on Saturday he will be much harder to beat come the Group 1 on September 23 that Godolphin has won for the past two years.
“If he’s in the mix against these horses first-up, then I’d say he’s going to improve sharply over 1400 metres second-up,’’ he said.
“But he still has the speed to be with them on Saturday.
“It’s all a game with him. He oozes quality and there’s certainly something left in the tank for the future.”
Cummings warned not to under rate the lightly raced Sanctioned in the Group 2 $200,000 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
The colt, a full brother to stakes winner Malice, resumed with a third behind Dracarys in the Up And Coming Stakes and Cummings said he has improved since then.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself as far as spring targets go, but he’s going to be nominated for the majors,’’ he said.
“He started this preparation as a mid-week winner and he’s now a Group Three placegetter first-up, so he’s on an upward spiral.
“But he’s in the same boat as a lot of promising Sydney colts and he’ll have to be competitive against them on Saturday.’’