Kimochi breaks black-type drought

Posted by RS NewsWire at 8:32pm on February 17th

Gary Portelli feared Kimochi was about to be the bridesmaid yet again when Learning To Fly ranged up to her in the Light Fingers Stakes, but his filly showed great courage to kick back and land an overdue black-type win.

The three-year-old had finished runner-up five times in 10 starts, four of those in stakes races, but she got her moment in the sun in Saturday’s Group 2 fillies’ showpiece.

“When the second horse moved up I thought, ‘here we go again’, we’re going to get beat(en) again’,” Portelli said.

“I was ready for the sad story, but she fought strongly and we’re in for a big prep.

“She’s got that tenacity hasn’t she. She came off the carpet there, I thought she was gone for sure.

“She wanted to win today and she deserved it.”

Portelli was only able to give Kimochi a two-week break after going deep into the spring as connections chased a breakthrough Group race win.

While admitting the short turnaround had its challenges, he said his team had done a tremendous job to get her back up quickly and firing.

He also conceded to having some mixed emotions with Kimochi entered for an upcoming broodmare sale.

The daughter of Brave Smash will get another Group 1 chance before then, however, with Portelli confirming she would be back at Randwick in two weeks for the Surround Stakes (1400m).

Learning To Fly was gallant in defeat at her first start since almost falling in last year’s Golden Slipper.

Tom Magnier, representing owners Coolmore, said he was “delighted” with her effort after so long on the sidelines.

“For a filly that hasn’t run for a year, that was exciting. She is in for a big autumn,” Magnier said.

Kimochi ($6.50) got the verdict by a half-head over Learning To Fly ($4.20) with the runner-up’s Annabel Neasham-trained stablemate Kristilli third, another 1-3/4 lengths away.

Tiz Invincible was a market drifter, starting at $4.60 before finishing sixth, with jockey James Mcdonald telling punters to stick with her.

“She just got too far back out of her ground but made a nice run into the straight and peaked on the run,” McDonald said.

“She will be hard to beat in two weeks.”

More Racing News

Time right for distance attempt

Trainer Michael Kent has been looking forward to the day he is able to try his mare Deny Knowledge over a staying trip. That day comes on Saturday when Deny Knowledge heads to the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m). The Mornington Cup has the added bonus of offering the winner a ballot exemption into the...

Today

Canterbury launch for Maher import

Ciaron Maher demonstrated his affinity with European stayers when Circle Of Fire won last Saturday’s Sydney Cup and on Wednesday at Canterbury the star trainer will unveil another Northern Hemisphere recruit. Kings Valley will make his Australian debut in the 1550-metre Hyland Race Colours 3YO Maiden that kicks off the card. It is an appropriate...

Today

Amelia’s Jewel draws wide in $5m The Quokka

The stage is set for a fascinating rematch of last year’s inaugural The Quokka, with Amelia’s Jewel again drawn wide after rattling home to just miss on-pacer Overpass. Last year, Amelia’s Jewel eventually drew barrier 14/14 while Overpass drew eight, but both will start two spots closer this time in 12 and...

Today

Cox Plate the focus for Pride Of Jenni

In the Queen Elizabeth Stakes aftermath, one of Chris Waller’s first thoughts was the hope of a rematch for Via Sistina with Pride Of Jenni come the spring racing features. That is just what he may get as Ciaron Maher says that his star middle distance mare will look to conquering Australasia’s weight-for-age championship,...

Yesterday

Magic Time set for the G1 All Aged Stakes

Trainer Grahame Begg believes Magic Time is still on the improve this preparation as he prepares the mare for her next feature race assignment in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes. Magic Time is already a Group 1 winner over 1400m this season in last spring’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield, and...

Yesterday

Mornington Cup an option for First Immortal

Mark and Levi Kavanagh are sticking to the plan of running First Immortal at Mornington this Saturday, but which race he contests is yet to be decided. The exciting staying prospect was among 23 entries for the $300,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) when they closed on Monday, but was also entered for the...

Yesterday

Estriella continues build-up to Adelaide's Robert Sangster Stakes

Estriella’s progression towards the Group 1 Sangster Stakes will continue at Cranbourne on Monday morning. The star sprinting filly, who is one of the most exciting horses in Ciaron Maher’s stable, will step out in an 800-metre jumpout. The daughter of I Am Invincible all but demanded she be directed towards Australia’s...

Apr 14th

Zougotcha beats Atishu in the G1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes

Zougotcha has continued her faultless autumn preparation and narrowly denied her stablemate Atishu back-to-back Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes wins at Randwick. After a spring preparation which did not go to plan with Zougotcha, trainer Chris Waller reset with the four-year-old mare who has returned this autumn in brilliant form and won...

Apr 14th

Pride Of Jenni runs them ragged in G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Frontrunning mare Pride Of Jenni and jockey Declan Bates have pulled off one of the most incredible feats ever seen on a Sydney racetrack with a stunning catch-me-if-you-can win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. Known for establishing big mid-race leads, Pride Of Jenni was expected to be a handful of lengths...

Apr 13th

Autumn Angel outguns star fillies to triumph in the Australian Oaks

A week after celebrating their maiden Group One win as a training partnership, Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman have backed it up, producing Autumn Angel to upset star New Zealander Orchestral in the ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick. Coleman landed her first major as a trainer when Chain Of Lightning claimed the T J Smith...

Apr 13th