More than three decades after his father won a Stradbroke Handicap for Bart Cummings, jockey Taylor Marshall will bid to repeat the feat for the next generation of the famed racing family.
Lightly weighted filly Exhilarates’ ability to back up in a week sees her rated a top chance to give a new generation of the Cummings and Marshall families another joint Group One win.
Exhilarates will be ridden by Taylor Marshall in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Last year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Exhilarates is one of four Stradbroke runners for the Godolphin operation whose head Australian trainer is James Cummings.
It is 32 years since Marshall’s father John won the Stradbroke for Cummings legendary grandfather Bart Cummings on Campaign King.
The pair combined again the next year for Robian Steel’s last-stride victory.
John Marshall, who died in 2018, had a wonderful association with Bart Cummings combining with him to win among 20 Group One victories, the 1989 Melbourne Cup on Rogan Josh.
Now Taylor Marshall gets the chance to ride a Group One winner for another member of the Cummings’ family.
James Cummings said a win for Exhilarates would be a wonderful story because of the family connection.
“One of the things I’ve always had in mind with Exhilarates is her ability to back-up off a seven-day break,” he said.
“She did it in the Magic Millions which was probably her best win in a robust two-year-old campaign.
“She’s in good shape here with no weight on her back, third-up off that seven-day break.”
Cummings is sure his other three runners Kementari, Trekking and Ranier can also play major roles.
“As for Kementari it would have been terrific to see him be a little more competitive in his Queensland races,” Cummings said.
“He missed the start badly at Doomben and was a little slow out at Eagle Farm last start and he’s crying out for more ground.”
“He’s also much better off at the weights here than he has been in his four runs back.”
Cummings said Ranier was arguably the best form of his career.
“In two of his past three wins he’s settled in the first four, which suggests he has options from the wide gate.”
Cummings said everything had gone well for last year’s Stradbroke winner and last-start Adelaide Group One Goodwood winner Trekking in his trip to Brisbane.