Cummings banking on Flow-on effect at Rosehill
AFTER a super start to the season, trainer James Cummings has a potential swag of winners for Godolphin as the curtain comes down on the 2017-18 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Cummings won the first two races of the current season, with Piracy and future Group 1 star Alizee saluting at Warwick Farm on August 2 last year.
While Alizee is being prepared for an ambitious spring, Piracy has been primed for a bold first-up bid in the ATC Hong Kong Tour Sprint (1100m) with a string of impressive barrier trials.
It will be the first outing for the son of 2006 Silver Slipper winner Plagiarize since he finished down the order in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in late February.
"He is a cheeky customer but he seems full of life,'' Cummings said.
"I thought he performed solidly in his public trials and his training has been no different.
"We just had to be careful with him to make sure we were happy before we sent him to the races. He was guilty of having an embargo placed on him so we have overcome that, just, and I know that we can't have him feeling any better.''
Godolphin's claim on the feature Listed ATC Winter Challenge Stakes (1500m) rests with Flow, a son of Winx's sire Street Cry, who finished third in the Civic Stakes over 1350m on June 30 prior to his fading seventh of the 12 runners in a 1200m benchmark race two weeks ago.
"We were just mixing up with him last time, he was always going to be better suited at seven furlongs (1400m) and now he is up to seven and a half, he could capitalise on his really good pattern,'' Cummings said.
"Flow is coming out of a handicap so he meets these horses at a disadvantage but he will enjoy the weight drop.
"He is capable of making his own luck and he's drawn well to do that.''
Cummings will require three sets of the Royal Blue silks to disperse among Souchez, Eusebio and Drachenfels who line up together in the ATC Thanks Owners Handicap over 1200m.
Rachel King's mount, Drachenfels, goes into the race second-up after an eye-catching return, when beaten a diminishing two lengths by Albumin, who is on Saturday aiming for four straight wins.
"Drachenfels was above himself at the races first-up, he was just too fresh, and it cost him because he made a mess of the start,'' Cummings said.
"I think second-up he is capable of managing his energy better and performing well again, but doing it the right way around.
"He was flying last campaign - he knocked off Savvan on Melbourne Cup day, then in December he beat Lanciato and he's definitely feeling as good now as he was then.''
Lonhro's son Souchez has some compelling numbers to sway punters - not least being two wins from three Rosehill appearances - but will require plenty of luck from his inside draw if he is add to his tally.
"To get himself in the clear he will (need luck)," Cummings said. "And he's not been showing a lot of intent in the first half of trial this time in. But he's got something to offer if he can charge his way into the clear."
Canberra Guineas winner Eusebio rounds out the Godolphin trio. The son of Benfica is back home after a barnstorming win at Moonee Valley on June 16.
"He had had about six weeks between runs," Cummings said.
"I just wasn't that happy with him a fortnight ago and I am quite convinced Eusebio is not the horse to run when there is any shadow of a doubt, so we'll see if he can draw on that fresh run by running well again with a nice break in between.'
The trainer can get punters off to the right start today, with the Denman filly Laburnum sure to play a part in the ATC Owners Recognition Day Handicap (1500m) after two rock-solid runs behind her.
"She is going nicel. She is still not the full package yet while she is still putting it all together, but there is a lot to be said for the way she finished off her last start,'' Cummings said.