James Cummings is “delighted” with the way Cascadian has been preparing for his first-up assignment in Saturday’s Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Cascadian was a dual-acceptor for both the C.F. Orr and the Apollo Stakes at Randwick; however, Cummings said it was always his intention to split his Group 1 winners, with Paulele staying in Sydney.
The Doncaster Mile-winning Cascadian was only narrowly defeated in the Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day, before backing up a week later to run 1.25 lengths behind Zaaki in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) in what was his last run of the preparation.
The baldy-faced chestnut was given a quiet trial at Randwick on January 24 over 900m under Hugh Bowman where he was asked for a bit of an effort after the post.
The seven-year-old son of New Approach has won two races from seven starts when first-up, so his trainer is of the belief that he could surprise a few on Saturday.
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“We’re delighted by the way the horse is going,” Cummings said in his weekly stable update.
“I actually feel like we’ve got him quite forward.
“He looks like getting a sweet run from that inner draw at Caulfield.
“We’ve been delighted by the way he’s been training, so much so that he could run a very promising race first-up and that would be good to see for the sake of laying a good platform for the rest of his preparation.”
Cascadian will be partnered by Damien Oliver in the C.F. Orr Stakes, with the 112-rater set to jump from barrier one.
The gelding is one of the outsiders of the 12-horse field, with online bookmakers rating him a $19 chance in his first run for the autumn.
Cummings will be hoping to send the galloper to the All-Star Mile, where he is currently 26th on the voting leaderboard.
Also aimed at the All-Star Mile is Cummings’ Group 1-winning mare Colette.
The five-year-old daughter of Hallowed Crown will resume in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, over 1400m.
Damien Oliver produces a peach to win his 124th G1. 🐐
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Tim Clark is set to ride the $6.8 million earner from barrier four in her first-up run, where she sits on the third line of betting at $6.50 behind Think It Over ($4.20) and Verry Elleegant ($5).
Colette resumed in this race 12 months ago and proved far too good, defeating Kolding and Verry Elleegant by two lengths on a favourable Soft 7 surface.
“She’s going really well,” Cummings said.
“She’s moving great and we like the way she hit the line in her barrier trial at Randwick.
“She has won first-up over seven furlongs at Randwick before and she looks like getting a good run from the draw.
“As strong a race as it is it would be good to see her running well against these horses and putting herself right back in the mix.
“Surely she’s going to get a wet track sometime this preparation.”
Cummings is set to saddle up both Heresy and Arcaded in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, where they will tackle Australia’s boom horse, Espiona.