Trainer Jerome Hunter admits he is throwing Belwazi in the deep end in the Kensington Stakes at Flemington but he is happy to give the mare her chance as a late entry in the Listed race.
Nominations were extended on Monday which prompted Hunter to add Saturday’s 1000m-race to Belwazi’s program and the five-year-old will chase valuable black-type in her first stakes test.
“She’s all set to go,” Hunter said.
“We’re throwing her in the deep end. There was a small amount of horses in the nominations and I didn’t want to wait three weeks between runs with her so I thought I would run her on Saturday and then I will probably back her up the following Friday night at Moonee Valley.”
Belwazi has shown a liking for short-course races at Moonee Valley but Hunter says if she can handle the straight course at Flemington it could add another string to her bow.
The mare has won six of her 17 starts and although she has not won in three races this preparation, the trainer is convinced she is going well.
“She should have won at Moonee Valley two starts ago,” Hunter said.
“That was an enormous run and we weighed up last start whether to go forward or back from a wide draw at Caulfield and I think we chose the wrong thing and went back.
“I just forgave that run and we will be going forward with her this time.
“I can’t fault her. She’s going well but we’re certainly throwing her in the deep end.”
Belwazi was at $41 on Friday in the field of nine with multiple Group One placegetter Champagne Cuddles the $2.10 favourite ahead of stakes winner Glenall at $3.90.
“If she ran in the first four I would be rapt,” Hunter said.
“There are a couple of quality horses in it but they might have an off day and we might have a good day.”
Hunter has booked South Australia’s premier jockey Jamie Kah who has this week made the move to Victoria.
“I think Jamie is hungry to show what she can do in Victoria and horses really run for her,” Hunter said.”I’m really excited to put her on.”
The trainer also had in-form Catching Beams entered for a race on Saturday’s program but he has scratched the filly because of a less-than-perfect blood count this week.
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