Australian Thoroughbred

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8/11/2019 Alizee tackles hot field in G1 Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington

Mike Hedge

The multiple G1 winner Alizee (Hugh Bowman) will be looking to go back to the beginning of her latest campaign when she takes on a classy field in Saturday’s G1 Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington.

Alizee scored the only win of her current preparation when first-up over the 1,200m of the G2 Missile Stakes at Rosehill in August.

Since then she’s finished third in the G1 Memsie Stakes at 1,400m at Caulfield and was off the track for much of the trip over 1,200m in the Everest at Randwick three weeks ago.

Cummings has brought Alizee back to Melbourne for her first start on a straight track and is more than hopeful she can get back to form.

“She’ll be looking for a quieter ride here after her three-length Everest defeat,” Cummings said.

“She coursed wide that day and was gallant going down by that margin."

“It’d be great to see her pounce on them with her customary finish at her first attempt up the straight six at Flemington.”

While Alizee will be looking to pounce, so will the classy sprinter Santa Ana Lane, a sprinter among the top few in Australia.

Two second placings from two starts this time in, including in the Everest, make Santa Ana Lane the horse to beat in the penultimate G1 of the Melbourne spring carnival, a race which includes the speedster Nature Strip and last-start G1 Manikato Stakes winner Loving Gaby.

Cummings is also expecting the lightly-raced colts Hilo (Damian Lane) and Knickpoint (Craig Williams) to be competitive in the Listed Springtime Stakes, along with last-start winner Haunted (Kerrin McEvoy) in the G3 Chatham Stakes.

“Hilo will be capable of backing up here and dropping back in distance despite the big weight,” he said.

“He didn’t see out the mile when he led on a strong gallop here last week and he’ll be held together more here.”

“Knickpoint is a young colt stepping up steeply in class but looks to have the promise to make that step."

“He has the action of a horse who should enjoy the wider expanses of Flemington and the step up to 1,400m.”

Haunted comes to Saturday’s race in preference to an engagement he held on Tuesday.

“We saved him for this rather than the earlier race because we feel he is looking for 1,400m,” Cummings said.

“He was felt for before the turn before winning at Caulfield last start and over the extra ground here he looks capable of rising to the challenge.”

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