A sizzling first-up run by Kimochi has trainer Gary Portelli optimistic the filly can land a break-through stakes win when she tackles the second leg of the four-race Princess series.
The three-year-old settled in the second half of the field from a wide gate and launched down the outside for an eye-catching third to Autumn Ballet in the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) on August 19.
The performance came as no surprise to Portelli, who had earmarked Kimochi as his Golden Slipper hopeful before her juvenile campaign was halted by injury.
“I had her fairly highly rated early on, I had her as my Slipper horse,” Portelli said.
“But after she ran second at her first start at Rosehill – which she should have won, she was held up for a run all the way down the straight – she hurt her pelvis in her box.
“She must have got cast in her stable and she basically missed the whole carnival.”
Kimochi returned at the back end of the autumn to break her maiden in midweek grade before finishing third behind Kristilli in the Percy Sykes Stakes.
Portelli again sent her for a spell with the early spring races in mind and was thrilled to see her measure up against some handy fillies first-up.
“I’ve had a fairly strong opinion of her, and it was good to be vindicated again,” he said.
“I know I’m not aiming too high.
“Some of the other horses will be improved out of it as well, but you have to think she will be too.”
Kimochi will get a chance to turn the tables on Autumn Ballet on Saturday when the pair clash in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Jason Collett has the ride on Kimochi, who has barrier seven, while Adam Hyeronimus sticks with Autumn Ballet from her ideal draw in three.
– RAS NewsWire