From the shock race day scratching of their number one seed Vilana to the devastating finish from last position of Paulele, James Cummings and his Godolphin army came, saw and conquered to take out their maiden victory in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and their first at the elite level in Perth. Their mission in the west not yet over with Cascadian second favourite behind Amelia’s Jewel in next Saturday’s G1 Northerly Stakes.
A smart horse with loads of upside, he gave another reminder on why trainer Stephen Miler has such big raps on him. A week after a brave third to boom filly Amelia’s Jewel in the WA Guineas (1600m) when he raced wide, the gutsy son of Oratorio backed up in the Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (1400m), overcoming what could have been another hard watch before jockey Brad Parnham pushed through and found a gap. A trip to Melbourne next year in the autumn for the G1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in March now looms as a real opportunity.
The stats don’t lie. Trainer Lou Luciani revealed post-race that the son of Maschino has backed up on four occasions and each time has been successful. Seven days after the Railway Stakes, Marocchino, carrying 60 ½ kg, showed his fighting qualities to lead and fight off Neufbosc to record a second consecutive win the AJ. Scahill Cup (2100m). A winner of the Northam Cup (1600m) in October, the six-year-old is closing in on a million dollars in earnings.
The Ascot track and recovering from two bouts of a virus were the concerns for Michael Campbell, but it was all plain sailing and he had little to worry about with the exciting Demerit gelding cruising to a comfortable first-up victory despite a big betting drift. He’s now four wins from five and described by Campbell as the fastest horse he’s trained.
Dion Luciani’s stable representative Ian Glading believes the daughter of Demerit is one of the most underrated gallopers going around. Whether the assessment is accurate is pretty much immaterial as the consistent filly has racked up six wins and four seconds from 11 starts and banked nearly $700,000 in prizemoney.
He didn’t get the G1 he desired in the Winterbottom Stakes with Rothfire, but he leaves Perth with a double. His ride on Mr Causeway, a horse that he recommended trainer Roy Rogers buy after watching him race in Melbourne, was as exquisite as you will see. He left on a high after Dom To Shot, appreciating a class drop, came up trumps in the last.
Luck Warwick said after the Winterbottom that This’ll Testya arguably ran her best ever race-and it’s hard to argue. The seven-year-old mare was uncharacteristically slow out of the barriers and only had Paulele for company at the back of the field before charging home for third. She’s in the zone and her campaign under Mitch Pateman has been remarkable.