Australian Thoroughbred

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22/9/2017 Saturday’s G3 Gloaming Stakes to set up strong Spring campaign for Astoria

A start in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes is on the agenda for the classically-bred colt Astoria who runs next in Saturday’s G3 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill where he will be accompanied by stablemate Sanctioned.

Astoria burst into big-race calculations when winning the G3 Spring Stakes at Newcastle earlier this month and has an extra 200m to contend with in Saturday’s 1800m race.

But trainer James Cummings has no concerns over either the distance or in backing him up off an eight-day break.

“He produced a really good, strong, surging win at Newcastle. He’s come through it really well and he needs racing to keep bringing him on,” Cummings said.

“When I looked him over on Tuesday morning I was delighted with the way he appeared and I think he’s ready to produce again this weekend.”

“Importantly, it’s going to set him up with a strong foundation for races like the Spring Champion Stakes.”

“He should be putting himself right into the race and he’s ready to attack the line.”

Astoria’s Newcastle win came at his fifth start, the colt’s only other win having come on debut as a two-year-old.

Sanctioned, who has been placed in Stakes races at his two starts this time in, is a colt for whom Cummings has great respect.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself as far as spring targets go, but he’s nominated for the majors,” he said.

“He started this preparation as a mid-week winner and he’s now a G3 placegetter first-up and a G2 placegetter last start, so he’s on an upward spiral.”

Cummings is also looking to future Stakes success with Souchez (Corey Brown) who runs in Saturday’s non-graded Benchmark 90 Handicap.

The son of Lonhro, who is already a G2 and Listed winner, comes back in class for what shapes up to be a confidence-boosting outing at Rosehill.

“He’s dropping back in grade here in this handicap after chasing home some really tough horses like Vega Magic in Melbourne,” Cummings said.

“Getting back to Rosehill is going to be a big bonus for the horse who’s a winner of the G2 Pago Pago Stakes here.”

Astoria is currently $2.60 with Ladbrokes. Check out the latest betting market.

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