Cummings up to Group One
Anthony Cummings’ Group One season is off to a flying start and the trainer has every reason to think it can continue next weekend.
The winner of Saturday’s George Main Stakes, Road To Rock, will run in the Epsom Handicap, Sister Madly contests the Flight Stakes and talented filly Lovemelikarock takes on the males in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Cups contenders Zavite and Nothin’ Leica Cat were given a workout between races at Randwick in preparation for the fourth Group One at the track on Saturday, the Metropolitan Handicap.
But Cummings is not confining himself to home territory with Red Lord to run in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.
"Glen Boss will ride Red Lord in the Turnbull with a view to riding him in the Caulfield Cup," Cummings said.
Red Lord was ridden by Damien Oliver to win the Naturalism Stakes and gain automatic entry to the Caulfield Cup in which he has just 51.5kg.
Cummings decided against running Zavite and Nothin’ Leica Cat in Saturday’s Colin Stephen Quality reasoning it was unnecessary and the gallop would be enough.
"They were both just half a run short and just needed a hitout rather than a race to get them ready," he said.
"Saturday will be the first time Zavite has been in a race that suits this preparation and I’m looking forward to him over the 2400 metres.
"Nothin’ Leica Cat is coming along nicely and I think she can be very competitive."
Zavite missed out on a Melbourne Cup start last year but made sure of a 2009 berth with a sparkling late summer-autumn campaign during which he won the Australia Day Cup at Randwick, the Launceston Cup and the Adelaide Cup.
The Group Two Adelaide Cup is one of a handful of races over the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup and Zavite’s effort to lead all the way stamped him as a true stayer.
Road To Rock’s George Main Stakes victory, which Cummings described as a `bonus’ on the way to the Epsom (1600m), was one the trainer believed was overdue.
"He has been thereabouts in Group One races without winning one," he said.
"I’ve always thought he was destined to be a Group One winner but he’s by Encosta De Lago and my experience with them is that they take a bit of time.
"He’s a five-year-old now and there is plenty ahead."
Road To Rock is now a $9 chance for the Epsom Handicap with Rangirangdoo heading TAB Sportsbet’s markets at $4.
By Caryl Williamson