Unraced two-year-olds are largely unknown quantities but Stuart Kendrick should have a deeper knowledge than most of his first starters at Doomben.
The trainer, who runs Embattled in the juvenile colts and geldings race and Cabochon Lil in the fillies division, has links to the respective families of both.
He trained Embattled’s sire Time For War towards the end of his racing career as well as Cabochon Lil’s dam, Not A Single Doubt mare My Girl Lil.
Embattled, a $35,000 yearling, was bought with the purpose of being sold on as a ready-to-run proposition but suffered a minor setback in the lead-up to that sale.
“So in the end we decided we were better off keeping him and he’s shown us a nice bit of ability,” Kendrick said.
“Off the work he’s done and his jump-outs he should be competitive. It’s hard to know with these first starters, there’s a couple in there that people have also got opinions of but he’s a lovely horse.”
Kendrick’s association with Cabochon Lil began with her dam, My Girl Lil, who showed above average talent but fractured a sesamoid in the lead-up to her debut and never raced.
My Girl Lil was served by Sebring and Kendrick sold the mare in foal.
But he couldn’t resist the temptation to buy back into the family, snapping up that foal – Cabochon Lil – for $160,000 at the Magic Millions yearling sale.
“We’ve got a bit of history there with her,” Kendrick said.
“She’s not as race savvy as the colt but she’s got plenty of ability and if she does everything right she should run well.”
Consistent mares Mymming and Hingus Rose round out Kendrick’s Doomben team and he expects both to run well, particularly Mymming who steps up to 2020m for the first time.
The four-year-old posted back-to-back wins at the Sunshine Coast and was an unlucky second over 1600m at Doomben last stat.
“She’s always given us the impression she’ll stay so we’ll get a pretty good guide this weekend,” Kendrick said.
“It looks a nice race for her, she’s drawn well and Damian Browne won on her a couple of runs ago and he’s on again so hopefully she gets every chance.”