Godolphin’s depth of talent among its three-year-old ranks is the envy of most Australian racing stables and there’s mounting evidence it could become even stronger.
From a yard that includes last season’s Golden Slipper and ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winners as obvious spring chances, trainer James Cummings is also counting on some lesser lights to make the grade.
One of them is Deference, a winner at Canterbury when he was asked to do it at both ends of the Everest Carnival Plate (1100m).
Deference was making his Sydney race debut after three Victorian runs delivered two out-of-town placings from three starts on unsuitable surfaces.
In the absence of Rome, a placegetter in last season’s Black Opal Stakes who became cast in his barrier and was scratched, Deference made his own luck as the $1.80 favourite.
The colt jumped with purpose from a wide draw and took control in the middle stages before striding clear under Hugh Bowman for a 1-3/4 length win.
“He’s looked the part for a while … he’s continued to develop, he’s thrived in (Melbourne) and came up here looking for some drier tracks,” Cummings said.
Cummings delayed Deference’s first start in Sydney to have him in prime order for Wednesday’s race.
“He wasn’t quite ready for the weekend for that rich maiden (at Randwick) but just giving him a few more days and an extra gallop had him spot-on for today and he definitely had his mind on the job.
“He’s a bit of a pro but there’s still things left for him to learn.
“I thought it was a good effort for him to come here with just being handled at home to get back on his Sydney leg and handle that comfortably.
“Hugh just showed him the whip and he lengthened very nicely for him in the style of a very promising colt with some sharp targets ahead of him.”
Cummings’s team of three-year-olds will include Kiamichi and Microphone, respective winners of this year’s Golden Slipper and Sires’ Produce.
Kindergarten Stakes winner Bivouac and promising filly Flit, successful at Group Three level at Flemington, are also tipped to figure in spring’s best races for three-year-olds.