The opportunity to enhance his own standing in an illustrious family presents itself to the capable sprinter Coruscate (Damien Oliver) when he runs in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, 26 September.
An older brother to the classy Bivouac, Coruscate showed good early potential with a debut win followed by two Group placings as a two-year-old.
A further five victories have followed with the Testa Rossa offering him an overdue Stakes success – and one his trainer James Cummings believes is well within his abilities.
“He’s returned very well, he’s flying,” Cummings said.
A breakthrough Stakes win is also on offer for Destination (Hugh Bowman) who runs in Saturday’s Listed Heritage Stakes at Rosehill.
Like Coruscate, he is a son of Exceed And Excel, the pair being among that stallion’s 500-plus individual juvenile winners.
Destination comes to the Heritage off a close second in a recent restricted race against older horses at Rosehill, an experience Cummings believes will equip him well for Saturday’s race.
“He’s a lovely, natural colt with good pace who looked comfortable around this track despite a hard run last start,” Cummings said.
Despite those impressive credits, his trainer James Cummings is predicting that, at the age of six, Trekking still has potential to fulfill – and he can go a long way toward doing so in Friday night’s G1 AJ Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Trekking (John Allen) is joined in the Moir by fellow Godolphin runner Hanseatic (Jye McNeil), trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman with both teams possessing winning prospects.
“Trekking has shown he’s among the top bracket. He’s won a Stradbroke Handicap and his other G1 win was in a very strong Goodwood this year where he beat a top horse in Gytrash,” Cummings said.
“And I don’t think he’s finished building.”
Trekking comes to the Moir first-up and fresh enough to improve on his effort in the same race in 2019 when he was closing in on the winner Nature Strip, who has established himself as the measuring stick among Australian sprinters.
“He ran well in this race last year when he was beaten a length-and-a-half by Nature Strip and I feel he can run even better than that,” Cummings said.
Victory at Moonee Valley would promote Trekking as a candidate for one of the few remaining places in next month’s The Everest, the world’s richest turf race and one in which he was placed last year.
“We’ll get through the weekend first though before we start talking about that,” the trainer said.
Hanseatic proved himself one of the country’s best juveniles last season and showed he’d retained that level with a first-up fourth in the G2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on 9 September, a performance gives co-trainer Sam Freedman confidence in the colt chances on Friday.
“He’s definitely benefitted from having a run at The Valley when he was just behind the placegetters in the McEwen, and there’s been improvement in the horse since,” Freedman said.
“Against older, G1 horses over 1,000m there’s nowhere to hide, but he has that late turn of foot that can get him over the top of them.”
On the same Moonee Valley card, a possible G1 Victoria Derby campaign begins for Alcyone (John Allen) in the G2 Bill Stutt Stakes, although the colt could be switched to Saturday’s G3 Caulfield Guineas Trial.
“Racing brings the best out of him, he’s not a brilliant horse in his training,” Cummings said.
Alcyone’s staying potential is backed by his bloodlines, being by Teofilo from the G1 Queensland Oaks winner Purple.
Also at The Valley, the filly Raison D’Etre (Damien Oliver) returns to her own age and sex in the G3 Scarborough Stakes.
“I like her around the tight, turning track at Moonee Valley and she’s training strongly after being upstaged by the older horses last time,” her trainer said.
by Mike Hedge at Godolphin