Australian Thoroughbred

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19/2/2020 Bivouac and Microphone on the Stakes trail at Caulfield and Rosehill

The G1-winning colts Bivouac and Microphone are out to define their future during the current autumn, and each has clear prospects of progressing in that mission on Saturday; the former in the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield and the latter in the G2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill.

Trainer James Cummings has set Bivouac (Craig Williams) for a first-up assault on one of Melbourne’s major sprints with confidence gained from the colt’s brilliant success in the G3 Vain Stakes, also at Caulfield, last spring.

“His first-up win in the Vain Stakes here last August was exceptional and the form has stood up,” Cummings said.

“He has plenty of weight for a three-year-old in open company, but he’s shown how effective he can be at this track.”

Having won the Vain, Bivouac added the G2 Run To The Rose and the G1 Golden Rose in Sydney during last spring and comes to this race as the winner of five Stakes prizes.

Microphone (Hugh Bowman) comes to the Hobartville off a victory in the G2 Autumn Stakes at Caulfield two weeks ago that gave the stable confidence that he could regain the form that made him Australia’s highest-rated juvenile of last season.

For Cummings, the race carries more status than the average G2 contest.

“The Hobartville is a race of champions and to have his name on the same list as the great horses who have won it would be very satisfying and would potentially add something to his stature as a stallion,” he said.

“He’s travelled back from Melbourne in great order, he’s trained well and he takes some beautiful form into this race.”

The two headline acts are backed up by a strong selection of Stakes-race aspirants with the talented mare Savatiano (James McDonald) to run in the G2 Millie Fox Stakes at Rosehill, La Tene in the G2 Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield and Pandemic in the G3 Zeditave Stakes at the same track.

Savatiano highlighted her spring campaign with success in the G2 Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield last October and then added another valuable prize in The Hunter at Newcastle.

“We chose this race against the mares because it seemed appropriate that she should be given the right chance for more Black Type,” Cummings said.

As the highest-rated of the six acceptors, Savatiano has distinct claims.

La Tene (Brad Rawiller) is a two-time winner as a two-year-old whose best win came in the G2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes at Flemington 11 months ago. She returns to Melbourne in a bid to recapture that form.

“She’s worthy of another crack this autumn after failing to really fire in the spring,” Cummings said.

“She might take a run-or-two, but she’s looking quite fit for her return.”

Pandemic (Damian Lane) graduates from restricted company, where he has won three of his only five starts, to a G3 contest.

“I like the way this race shapes for him along the way to something even more significant,” Cummings said.

“I think Caulfield is going to suit him and the step up to Stakes grade in a race like this is within his scope.”

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