IT is not unusual for the Godolphin stable to take a strong hand into a feature race day in Australia and Saturday’s Victoria Derby Day is no exception.
The blue team takes at least one horse into all but two races across the nine event card at Flemington and head Australian trainer James Cummings opened up the stable doors for an insight into some of his favourite elects ahead of Saturday.
Aramayo is the stable’s primary chance in the feature event of the day, and Cummings feels the colt has recovered nicely following a third placed finish in last week’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase.
“He’s been able to pull up terrific from the run on the weekend,” Cummings told Racing.com.
“It was a big occasion, that amphitheatre that is Moonee Valley, all those things were to test Aramayo and he can be a little bit of a boy.
“He was getting above himself and he was feeling too well so we’re really glad that we elected to run the horse before the Derby, and he’s come through the race in great fashion.”
Cummings believes the $6.50 second favourite at online bookmaker BetEasy will be peaking heading into the Group 1 feature.
“Fitness will be at its absolute peak for (Aramayo) on Saturday and getting back to the big track, where he ran so well on a big track at Randwick in the Spring Champions Stakes, should lead to the horse getting right back up to his peak.”
WATCH BELOW: Aramayo runs third in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase
While not as heavily supported in the market as the stablemate, Encryption’s preparation towards the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes has Cummings excited.
The trainer believes the three-year-old has the ability to upset the race favourite Written By.
“We’ve been happy with him. He’s fifth-up now and I think he’s ready to peak,” he said
“He’s not going to be one of the main elects in the race but I promise you he’s going to run a big race. He’s a Danehill winner, he’s won a Group 3 at 2YO in Canberra in the Black Opal.
“The way he’s been coming along to his best really enthuses me about his chances up the straight for the second time this preparation.”
Encryption is an $8.50 chance for the Coolmore Stud Stakes at online bookmaker Ladbrokes.
Another runner Cummings is bullish on is Ranier.
One of the more unlucky horses in the Godolphin blue, Ranier broke through for a much deserved win in the Gothic Stakes at Caulfield earlier in the month and comes into Saturday’s Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes as a $4.50 hope at Sportsbet.
While the colt comes into the opener on the card as the favourite, Cummings believes there’s still plenty of improvement left in the three-year-old.
“He’s still three months away,” the trainer explained.
Cummings said the team has made a concerted effort to limit Ranier to races the colt will feel comfortable in.
“We’ve kept him to races that he can enjoy and run well in. He doesn’t have to be really improving six lengths to be winning a Carbine.
“The low hanging fruit for him this preparation has been the key … having said that the Carbine Club is a very good race and it’s going to take a good horse to rise to the occasion.”
Cummings believes Saturday’s run will go a long way to dictating just how good Ranier can be going forward.
“The way he’s been coming along since the Gothic Stakes I’d be willing to suggest he’s capable of being the horse, but he just has to go out there and knuckle down and get the job done to convince us he’s the one for next year.”