Lightning can strike for a second time at Flemington or the Richard and Chantelle Jolly stable when Kemalpasa tackles Saturday’s $300,000 Group 2 TAB Stakes (1200m).
The talented sprinter defeated Order Of Command and Zoutori to win last year’s feature and Jolly is confident the horse is back on track having endured an interrupted year.
“He pulled a muscle in his shoulder back in May and we had to stop and give him a break,’’ Jolly said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of racing the last 12 months,’’ he said.
Kemalpasa’s stop and start year continued when he missed a trip to Melbourne in early September. However, the stable is confident the horse is back on track which was evident when he led and was narrowly beaten behind Zoutori in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington last time out.
“He gave us the impression he was going well and his last run justified that,’’ Jolly added.
“He’s had a month between runs but has had a jump-out but we couldn’t be happier with him,’’ he said.
Kemalpasa is one of a number of South Australian horses nominated for the Group 1 $1m Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth in late November.
Tony and Calvin McEvoy have a big team entered, led by last year’s winner and last week’s Manikato Stakes winner Hey Doc, while Will Clarken’s Bella Vella is also among nominations.
Jolly said the fact Kemalpasa hadn’t had a hectic spring could be a positive given a lot of the best sprinters have had busy campaigns.
“It’s an option, we’ll just wait and see after Saturday,’’ Jolly said.
“These sort of horses, once you get to this kind of rating, these are the races you have to look at.
“He’s seems that he’s right at his top now, the last thing we’d want to do is go to the paddock, so Perth is an option, we might even head back to the Gold Coast with him,’’ he said.
The stable has a big day locally led by Regalo Di Gaetano who has his first try at 1800m in the $100,000 Listed John Letts Cup.
“He’s consistent,’’ Jolly said.
“He ran well the other day at Murray Bridge and is probably right at his peak now.
“He’s got a nice chance. The 1800m is always a query, but he’s relaxing in his work and races so he’ll give himself the chance to run out the trip,’’ he said.
And they will wait until Friday before deciding If they’ll have a runner at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day with Alleboom nominated in the Schweppervescence Plate over 1000m, while a good barrier draw at Morphettville could be a better option
“We’ll just wait and see how he’s weighted, but thinking about accepting there as well,’’ Jolly said.
“Drawing barrier one in Adelaide is tempting, but we’ll wait and see and make a decision on Friday,’’ he said.