Australian Thoroughbred

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6/2/2020 Avilius gets another G1 campaign underway at Caulfield

Mike Hedge

Another campaign gets underway for the former French galloper Avilius when he runs in Saturday’s G1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield ahead of his attempt to repeat his G1 victories of last autumn in the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.

Avilius has shown outstanding first-up ability in this country, winning at his first Australian start and again when resuming in the G3 Carlyon Cup at this meeting last autumn. 

“He’s run well when fresh in the past, but he might tend to need this first-up run,” Cummings said.

“At this meeting last year he won over 1,600m first-up and he’s come through his training nicely ahead of this.”

“He’ll be on the fresh side at 1,400m but we’re looking forward to seeing him in the longer races later in the autumn.”

Cummings’ autumn plan means Avilius is likely to miss the G1 Australian Cup in which he ran last year, to ensure a clear run at the Sydney G1 double of the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW, both of which he won in stunning fashion on heavy tracks last year.

Cummings had also considered running the G1-winning three-year-old Microphone in the Orr Stakes, opting instead to tackle the G2 Autumn Stakes.

“We were tempted to run in the G1, but at this stage it’s a case of less is more in terms of getting another Group win on his record to take with him to stud,” he said.

Microphone resumed last month in the G2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley, running an even race to finish less than three lengths from the winner, Scales Of Justice.

“His first-up run in the Australia Stakes was sound and indicated that he was looking for further,” Cummings said.

“It was a sound run, he got going again late suggesting that the 1,400m here will be more suitable.”

Also at Caulfield, Wagner (Brad Rawiller) bids for the second win of his current preparation in the G2 Rubiton Stakes.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him around a bend again here after he was beaten down the straight at Flemington,” Cummings said.

Duca Valentinois will represent the stable in the G3 Carlyon Cup. A winner of two races at The Curragh before joining the Australian Godolphin team, Duca Valentinois has won a further six for his current stable.

And according to Cummings, success remains within the eight-year-old’s reach.

“He’s warming up to another win after circumstances went against him last time,” his trainer said.