Next month’s Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) is shaping as a thrilling contest, with rising star Kinane a likely runner despite intense interest from Hong Kong buyers. There had been reports that Kinane might be sold for upwards of $2 million and miss the May 9 race, but part-owner Mick Kent said the Derby was still on the cards.
A New Zealand-bred son of Reliable Man, Kinane is the $7 third-favourite for the Derby behind Russian Camelot ($2.50 fav), Warning ($3.60) and Dalasan ($4).
Kent, who sourced Kinane via the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales for $165,000 through bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, sent Kinane to Chris Waller in Sydney after taking a break from training. “There has been a fair bit of interest in the horse, there’s no denying that, but the thought is that the horse is going to be running in the Derby,” Kent said. “Things might change but my understanding is that’s the plan.”
Kinane burst onto the scene with an impressive win at Wyong last month and repeated the dose in last Saturday’s Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick, impressing ratings experts and jockey James McDonald.
If Kinane does start in the South Australian Derby, his price is sure to be significantly shorter than his current quote, which is generous given the apparent uncertainty over him running. Russian Camelot, believed by many to be the most gifted staying three-year-old in Australia, runs at Flemington on Saturday en route to Adelaide.
While lucrative Hong Kong offers often see a number of the Australasian classic crop snapped up to continue their careers in the Asian racing jurisdiction, the prospect of limited international competition during the spring due to Covid-19 might see owners rethink those offers.
“We head to Adelaide with him for the South Australian Derby, but he really is a horse that is untapped,” Waller Racing representative Jack Bruce said. “I suppose in this current climate with the Internationals looking unlikely for the Cups in the spring, he is certainly a very exciting horse to have.”