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Posted: 2017-11-03 06:15:48

The importance of the Coolmore Stud Stakes cannot be underestimated and if Godolphin colt Viridine can become "the first" unbeaten winner of it on Derby Day, it would secure his future beyond the track.

Waller undecided on next Winx jump

Horse trainer Chris Waller speaking to media at Flemington Racecourse says Winx has recovered well from her third Cox Plate win but hasn't discussed her next race yet.

Victory would take the Poet's Voice colt's value into the tens of millions of dollars, far beyond the $1 million prize pool of the race itself at Flemington on Saturday, and be a marketing boom for Godolphin.

"Usually they get to this race and have done a fair bit of racing, but Viridine has only had the four starts and this is by far his biggest challenge," trainer James Cummings said. "He has an abundance of speed, which he will need to show to win the group 1. He has stepped up at every start so far, which quite impressive. 

"We'd love to see this horse get the job done as well. He's a very fast colt and we've been delighted with his training.

"He comes into this third up and ready to hit an absolute peak. He's needs to have gone ahead if he's going to be winning, but we feel he's done that."

The race has a rich history as the Ascot Vale Stakes when run in September, where Rancher in 1982, Brawny Spirit (1993), Show No Emotion (1997) and North Boy (2001) kept their unbeaten record in the straight 1200-metre contest.

However since the race has moved to Derby Day and gaining group 1 status it has lifted to another level.

A Viridine win would be another feather in the cap of Cummings before his 30th birthday. He has already written his name into the records in another three-year-old spring group 1. Cummings was able to get Hallowed Crown to become the first unbeaten winner of the Golden Rose a couple of years ago. It now stands at Darley's Kelvinside in the Hunter Valley.

"It is the same but a bit different because Viridine has just kept rising to the challenge for us," he said.

Cummings will also have Caulfield Guineas runner-up Kementari and Malahat in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, because of influence on and off the track. Kementari will carry winkers for the first time as he drops back from a mile to 1200 metres but Cummings believes he is capable of being very competitive.

"I can't split Viridine and Kementari, although they are different horses coming off different preparations, they are as classy as each other," he said.

 "We've sharpened [Kementari[ up and with the addition of winkers  and we think that he can drop back in distance and still produce that lethal turn of foot that he's got.

"He's going to be a far better horse in the autumn and this little bit of extra experience can only do him a world of good."

Malahat has a victory over Kementari early in the year and Cummings felt he deserved a shot at the group 1 prize.

"The blinkers go on Malahat and getting to a dry track will certainly help him and he can certainly run in the top four in a race like this," he said.

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