12/11/2020 Talented trio on the prowl in The Hunter at Newcastle
A trio who have won 20 races between them will mount a powerful bid for Godolphin’s second successive victory in the $1m The Hunter at Newcastle on Saturday, 14 November.
Ranier (Jason Collett), Gaulois (Josh Parr) and Asiago (Kathy O’Hara) defend the title won last year by their stablemate Savatiano, at the same time attempting to give the stable its third feature race success in as many Saturdays.
And in Melbourne, Avilius will be out to end his spring campaign on a high note in the G2 Zipping Classic at Sandown.
Trainer James Cummings makes a case for all three of his Hunter runners.
“We’re lucky enough to have a really good selection of runners who each has a claim,” Cummings said.
“Gaulois has trained well since putting in a couple of lacklustre runs on firm tracks in Melbourne.”
“This could be a hard race to get back to form in, but he can make his own luck.”
“Ranier is coming to a peak and a big performance here would be no surprise.”
“And I thought Asiago was very unlucky in the Empire Rose at Flemington last start.”
“She still had plenty to offer in that race, she should retain plenty of stored energy and she brings Group One form to a race where she’s down in the weights and at a track where she has a superior record.”
Gaulois missed a place in Melbourne at his past two starts, but he drops in weight and is likely to find more comfortable track conditions here.
The son of Street Cry finished off his previous preparation with a G3 win in Brisbane where he overcame a wide gate and the well-performed Niccanova.
Ranier’s prospects are underlined by his first-up third behind Wild Planet and Funstar, when conceding weight to both, in the G2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill in mid-September. At his only start since he finished fourth to Cuba under 62kg at Randwick.
The third member of the triumvirate, Asiago, comes to a track at which she has won twice, including in last year’s G3 Spring Stakes, and with G1 form to recommend her, along with strong Melbourne form.
The mare finished only a length behind Shout The Bar and the G1 1000 Guineas winner Odeum in the G1 Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington two weeks ago and had won impressively first-up at Wyong when resuming in early September.
This year’s Spring Stakes runner is Namazu (James McDonald) who found the heavy going and the quality of the opposition beyond him in the Bondi Stakes last start.
In Melbourne, the stable is represented by Avilius (Damien Oliver) whose Melbourne Cup run has been dismissed by Cummings.
“He struggled to stay the two miles, especially with the fast tempo of the Melbourne Cup. The drop back to 2,400m here at weight-for-age will suit him,” Cummings said.
Also in Melbourne, Anamoe runs in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes and Coruscate in the Listed Doveton Stakes, both to be ridden by Damien Oliver.
Anamoe looks to be better-suited by the more spacious track after an impressive fifth on debut at Caulfield where he finished full of running after being unable to find clear ground until the race was all over.
Coruscate won successive races in dominant style before his last start sixth in the G2 Linlithgow Stakes and is likely to find the opposition less formidable here.