Cummings rolls the dice with Alizee
GODOLPHIN trainer James Cummings is relying on Alizee's sheer class to overcome her stamina limitations in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Alizee hasn't raced beyond 1600m in her 12-start career and goes into the fillies classic after finishing well back in the Coolmore Classic.
But Cummings maintains there were excuses for Alizee's last-start flop and noted the filly was well placed in the Vinery Stud Stakes at level weights.
"There's not too many opportunities for her to run against three-year-old fillies at set weights at this level,'' Cummings said.
"I feel like that having been blocked for a run in the Coolmore where she was lovely and relaxed, she looks like she can conserve her energy over this trip.
"There's no doubt that she's got a lot of power and she's a filly with a brilliant turn of foot.
"If she can hold it together and be ready to unleash a big final furlong (200m) it would be interesting to see how difficult it will be for her opposition to hold her out late."
Alizee, attempting to join Norzita (2013) as the only winners of the Flight Stakes-Vinery Stud Stakes double in the past 25 years, is equal second favourite at $6 with Aloisia in early TAB Fixed Odds betting, behind Unforgotten, the $4.80 favourite.
Godolphin has a powerful three-year-old team this season and Cummings is confident Astoria will prove hard to beat in the Group 2 $200,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
Astoria, a third placegetter in the Victoria Derby last spring and the stable's main hope for the ATC Australian Derby next week, has been improved by three runs from a spell, Cummings says.
"I think he's really primed for one of his best runs this time in and it should be the perfect race to get him back into the winners' circle,'' he said.
Interlocuter, Duca Valentinois and Spectroscope give the Cummings stable a strong presence in the Group 3 $150,000 Doncaster Prelude (1500m).
"I think Interlocuter will be very hard to beat, he might just be the best of our chances," Cummings said.
"He's up in the weights now, but he had a nice trial between runs where he motored to the line nicely.
"Duca Valentinois has been galloping strongly against some pretty good stablemates leading up to this race and I feel like he has the chance, third-up, to show his best.
"Spectroscope won this race last year. He's been gelded since then and he returned with a solid first-up run at Newcastle. If he can improve a bit off that going out to 1500m with the light weight, then he gives himself every opportunity of finding another length and being in the top three in this race."
Meanwhile, Cummings reported boom three-year-old colt Kementari was on target for the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile next week after his third to Winx in the George Ryder Stakes on Golden Slipper Day.
"Kementari has pulled up great from his impressive effort to finish third to the world's greatest racehorse, Winx, on Saturday in the George Ryder,'' Cummings said.
"We were all really impressed with his effort to finish within two lengths of Winx and we are looking forward to saddling him up in the Doncaster. He is coming along beautifully fifth-up for his grand final on Saturday week."