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By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 31, 2021

The well performed Bel Esprit mare Kisukano will make a welcome return to race action on Melbourne Cup day at Eagle Farm in what will be her first start as a four-year-old.

Kisukano has not raced since her fifth place finish … when only 0.50 lengths behind the winner Setanta … in the Listed $200 000 Queensland Day Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm on June 5.

Kisukano had shown herself to be well above average from very early on and her race record, under the care of Michael Nolan, makes very interesting reading.

In her first nine starts (from February 1, 2020 until September 19, 2020) Kisukano won on no less than six occasions, finished second twice and finished third on one occasion … meaning she never missed a place during that period of time.

Six of those nine starts came during her two-year-old season which she came away from with a record of four wins, a second and a third.

She won her Maiden on debut in a QTIS Two-Year-Old Maiden Plate over 1050m at Toowoomba on February 1, 2020 … trouncing her opposition when putting up a 7.50 length winning margin.

Then, two weeks later, Kisukano had to settle for second best in a QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1000m at Eagle Farm. As it turned out, that wasn’t too shabby a result as the winner on that occasion was none other than the then unbeaten Rothfire, who had greater race experience on his side.

Kisukano wasted little time in getting back to her winning ways though, winning the Jewel Prelude Two-year-Old Fillies Plate over 1110m at Doomben on February 29, 2020 … to make it two wins from three starts … and she then followed that up with a big win in the $500 000 Aquis QTIS Jewel (for two-year-olds) over 1200m at the Gold Coast on March 14, 2020.

That result was satisfying on so many levels, not least because Kisukano avenged her only defeat by keeping the $1.20 favourite Rothfire back in second place this time by a clear-cut two length margin. Kisukano started at the juicy odds of $7.

That made it three wins from four starts. Apart from the debut win where Kisukano was ridden by Skye Bogenhuber, Mark Du Plessis had ridden Kisukano in the other three races.

Putting those clashes with Rothfire in further perspective, it should be noted that Rothfire won the Group 2 Champagne Stakes in his next start after The Jewel and then Rothfire became a Group 1 winner when taking out the J J Atkins in the start after that.

And Kisukano wasn’t finished yet.

After a four-month break Kisukano resumed and chalked up a fourth win, from only five starts, where, despite carrying the steady burden on 60.5kg, she stormed home in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Bruce McLachlan Classic over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast on July 11, romping in by 2.75 lengths with Mark Du Plessis once again doing the honours in the saddle.

Kisukano had one more run as a two-year-old. That resulted in a third place in a QTIs Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1200m at Doomben on July 25, 2020. Beaten, yes, buy Kisukano finished only 0.30 lengths back … a highly credible performance after being set to carry 63.5kg (reduced to 60.5kg for Alex Petis’ claim).

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Kisukano's big win and cause for a big celebration came in the $500 000 Aquis QTIS Jewel at teh Gold Coast on March 14
Kisukano's big win and cause for a big celebration came in the $500 000 Aquis QTIS Jewel at teh Gold Coast on March 14
Photos: Darren Winningham
Photos: Darren Winningham
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