Anthony Cummings is completely undaunted at the prospect of Vegadaze taking on star colt The Autumn Sun – at least in the Hobartville Stakes.
The Randwick trainer reasons he has a race-fit horse who makes his own luck on speed, while The Autumn Sun is first-up on Saturday and likely to race back in the field over a journey slightly short of his ideal distance.
“He might finish up being the better horse, he might not, but I’m happy to take him on in this,” Cummings said.
“We go there fourth run in, hard fit, ready to go for another run at 1400 metres and ready to take the step up to that grade, so I think we’re in good shape.”
Vegadaze only made his debut in January and he is yet to be beaten in three starts, his most recent win coming over Saturday’s Rosehill course and distance three weeks ago.
For the first time in his short career, he won’t wear winkers in the Hobartville with Cummings hoping their removal will help the three-year-old race more tractably.
“He was a little bit keen in the first part of his race the other day,” he said.
“He works without them and he gives everything, and while he was a little bit immature in the first place, in recent times he’s been pretty much foolproof in his work, so it makes sense for them to come off now.”
With the scratching on Thursday of Gem Song, eight horses will line up in the Hobartville including Eskimo Prince Stakes runner-up Purple Sector and the Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration.
While The Autumn Sun has not run a place in two barrier trials, trainer Chris Waller is unperturbed.
“He is about 10kg heavier than his impressive spring campaign, his attitude is fantastic and he has done everything we have asked him to do in his build-up to Saturday’s race,” Waller said.
Waller said The Autumn Sun was typical of his horses, including champion Winx, who switch on come race day and nothing should be ready into his trial form.
The Autumn Sun’s first Group One target this carnival will be the Randwick Guineas (1600m) with other options to be determined after that race.