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Raymond’s import to wait a week

Maddie Raymond’s Winter Championship entry likely to be saved for Caulfield

TRAINER : MADDIE RAYMOND.
TRAINER : MADDIE RAYMOND. Picture: Racing Photos

Maddie Raymond has one of the more interesting nominations for Saturday's feature event at Flemington, the $200,000 Winter Championship Final, but Kingswood is unlikely to take his place in the 1600-metre Listed event.

Stable followers won't have to wait long to see the imported entire in action, however, with Raymond keen to utilise an easier option available at Caulfield the following Saturday.

Kingswood trialled over 1300 metres at Casterton on Monday, where he finished fourth, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, in what Raymond described as a pleasing hit out.

"I thought he was really good, it was just a nice off-the-bridle trial, but he did everything we asked him to," the Warrnambool trainer said.

When he does step out, Kingswood will be under the same colours as several others who have raced for Raymond, including Earlswood, winner of the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) in 2022.

A four-year-old son of Roaring Lion, Kingswood has been in Australia since late-summer, having not raced since finishing fourth in the Listed Listowel Stakes (1810m) in Ireland last September.

His only win from seven starts came in a 2011m maiden at Cork, but he boasts a Group 3 placing via his half-length third placing in the Gallinule Stakes (2011m) at the Curragh in May last year.

The $80,000 benchmark 78 over 1400m or the $130,000 benchmark 84 over 1700m at Caulfield therefore seem a modest kick-off point, but Kingswood owns an official handicapper rating of 77 and Raymond is keen to let the horse determine his immediate targets.

"I don't have too high expectations, but he's a nice horse and he's transitioned well," she said.

"I just want to get him to the races and see how he handles it, how he handles our racing style and pattern, and hopefully get some wins on the board then see where we are at."