3rd September 2020 Preview Godolphin's Saturday runners
The task of transforming autumn promises into spring realities begins for Collette when she runs in Saturday’s G2 Tramway Stakes at Randwick with the confidence of trainer James Cummings matched by an awareness of the magnitude of the assignment confronting his G1 ATC Oaks winner.
Collette makes her four-year-old debut on a card that also marks the return of Godolphin’s multiple G1 winner Avilius in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes and the appearance of the progressive filly Thermosphere in the G2 Darley Furious Stakes.
And in Melbourne, the talented three-year-old colt Hanseatic resumes in the G2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley.
While all have sound prospects, it is Collette, who last autumn put together a four-win sequence that culminated in victory in the G1 ATC Oaks, shapes as an intriguing runner of the quartet.
“She has challenges before her as a four-year-old,” Cummings said.
“No matter how well we think she’s going, she has to defy history to some extent this spring to prove herself better than a lot of recent Oaks winners.”
Cummings includes among those fillies the reigning G1 Cox Plate favourite Verry Elleegant.
“After winning the Oaks in the autumn Verry Elleegant won only the one race the following spring,” he pointed out.
Avilius (Kerrin McEvoy) begins his fifth Australian preparation in the Chelmsford Stakes, a race in which he finished second in 2019.
Originally trained in France by Andre Fabre, Avilius has been a star performer in Australia winning eight Stakes races, three of them at G1.
And Cummings believes he can add to that record on Saturday after the seven-year-old skipped his intended return to the track two weeks ago.
“I think he can run well first-up and get his preparation off to a great start.”
“He’s had a substantial gap between campaigns and he enjoyed himself in an exhibition gallop between races at Rosehill and his coat has cleaned up a bit more."
“We scratched from the Winx Stakes two weeks ago for a couple of reasons, but there were no problems with the horse, mainly just to do with building the right program for him.”
Thermosphere (Jason Collett) is second-up in the Furious Stakes, having run up to expectations when a close second in the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes two weeks ago.
“I thought she was close to another Stakes win before her first-up run and as it turned out, she couldn’t have got much closer,” Cummings said.
While the conditions of Saturday’s race are less suitable, Thermosphere will have been improved by her latest run and ranks highly among the prospects.
Hanseatic (Craig Williams) established himself as one of Melbourne’s best two-year-old colts in the autumn, finishing second in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes and co-trainer Sam Freedman believes he can maintain that standard this time around.
“There are some high-speed horses in the race, but it looks like being a small field, so we’re satisfied that will suit a horse with his turn-of-foot,” Freedman said.
“He can be keen in his races, but a strong pace should allow him to get into a good rhythm.”
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