Trainer James Cummings is banking on some strong eastern states form providing the Godolphin stable another Group One victory, this time on the other side of the country.
Cummings will saddle three runners in Perth’s feature Group One sprint on Saturday, the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
The Godolphin-owned Trekking, to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, is the $2.50 market elect and will be joined by Home Of The Brave, with Damian Lane aboard, and Viridine, to be ridden by Damien Oliver.
Market ðŸ’°: View the odds for the Winterbottom Stakes
Winner of the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm in June, Trekking ran third to Yes Yes Yes in The Everest at Randwick in October before a finishing second to Pierata in the Redzel Stakes at Rosehill on November 2.
Cummings said Trekking was making the trip to Perth at a high point in his preparation.
“The vital thing is that he coped very well with the long flight and arrived in good shape,” Cummings said.
“He’ll come to Ascot on Saturday in what we believe is the sort of form that will make him very competitive.
Home Of The Brave heads west after a narrow defeat in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown on November 16 which Cummings described as possibly the bravest run the sprinter had produced during his campaign.
“He’s a natural on-pace runner who has the credentials to make his own luck,” Cummings said.
“If it’s proving difficult to make ground on Saturday, he’ll be one of the soldiers up in the firing line.”
Viridine returned to his best at that same Sandown meeting winning a Listed 1000m race, but is confronted with a step up in trip and grade.
“He’s won at 1200m in good company in the Roman Consul Stakes as a three-year-old, but we’re keen for him to re-establish his credentials at that trip,” Cummings said.
“A strong pace suits a strong horse and that’s how we see Viridine.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au