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Maiden Khartoum gets Spring Champ shot

Pat Carey knows how to bring an emerging stayer to Sydney and return to the Mornington Peninsula with a Group One trophy.

Khartoum leads the Victorian trainer’s latest assault in Saturday’s Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.

The horse is by Helenus whose progeny have scored upset victories for Carey in some of Sydney’s biggest races.

Ethiopia was, like Khartoum, a maiden when Carey crossed the border in 2012 to win the Australian Derby at Randwick.

That was one year after he brought fellow Helenus stayer Cedarberg to the same track to win the Group One BMW.

Helenus’ sons Durnford and Ulundi also won stakes races for Carey, with all four carrying West Australian owner-breeder Trevor Delroy’s light blue and green hooped silks.

The stallion himself was a Group One winner in Sydney, taking out the 2003 Rosehill Guineas for trainer Leon Corstens.

“He’s been a very good horse to this stable,” Carey said.

“They’re certainly a breed that have performed well and percentage-wise the stayers have done really well.”

Khartoum is from Helenus’ final crop conceived before his death in 2013.

In his first two starts Khartoum has finished third in a maiden at Geelong and ninth of 13 runners in an open handicap at Caulfield.

“Obviously he’s a maiden so I’m not overburdening him with expectation,” Carey said.

“It’s part of a long-term process and a trip away to run over a mile and a quarter in Sydney now is good development for the horse.”

Yankee Rose, the lone filly in the field of 11 Spring Champion acceptors, is the $2.60 favourite ahead of fellow Group One winner Prized Icon.

Trainer Chris Waller’s trio of runners includes Gloaming Stakes winner Veladero as well as Tumultuous and High Mist.

Hawkes Racing has Ming Dynansty Quality winner Swear and Ready Fire Aim in the race while Honeywine and Retaliation will represent Godolphin.

Khartoum, who shares his name with Sudan’s second largest city, continues Delroy’s theme of naming horses after African places and people.

Aside from Ethiopia and Angola, Delroy raced the Carey-trained 2013 Queensland Oaks winner Gondokoro who was named after a 19th century trading station in southern Sudan.

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