Khoekhoe looking to bounce back at Flemington

Ballarat trainer Matt Cumani has a lot of time for Khoekhoe, but the gelding has also been a cause of frustration for the trainer.

Khoekhoe gave Cumani a big payday when he won the VOBIS Showdown at Caulfield in 2020 while later that year he took out the Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington.

That was Khoekhoe’s last win and Cumani is hoping that will be rectified when the gelding runs in The David Bourke (1630m) at Flemington on Saturday.

After a sound first-up run over 1200m at Caulfield on May 7, Cumani left that same track three weeks later after Khoekhoe had finished last over 1400m.

This campaign Cumani has been trying to get Khoekhoe to settle in his races and not hang.

“He’s an interesting horse,” Cumani said.

“I was disappointed with his run last time, obviously, but at the same time we’ve been trying to get him to relax and not pull, so I can’t be too disappointed because he didn’t do that.

“We were going to go to 1800 metres last weekend, but we didn’t because of a bad gate and bad ground, so hopefully on better ground at 1630 metres, we might just try and get him out of the gates.

“Last time we were careful to tell Tatum (Bull) not to drive him out of the gates in case it set him alight, but we might be keen to ask him now and if he goes forward, he goes forward.

“Half the battled this prep is having him not hang, because he was doing that. We’ve succeeded there, he’s not hanging, now we need to see him perform as well.”

Khoekhoe has the ability if he puts his mind to it.

Following his Super Impose victory, Khoekhoe ran second in The Vase at Moonee Valley behind Cherry Tortoni before returning the following autumn to run third in the Autumn Classic at Caulfield.

Cumani then sent Khoekhoe on a Derby path in Sydney and later to Brisbane during his three-year-old campaign, however he failed to feature in two runs during his four-year-old spring campaign.

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