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A promising start for latest Australian two-year-olds

Mike Hedge

It can only be regarded as a positive sign when one of the earliest winners from a stable of 150 two-year-olds becomes the favourite for the world’s richest juvenile race.

And for Godolphin’s Australian head trainer James Cummings and his team, it may well be that the latest crop is something special.

But the brilliant start to the 2018-19 season by the stable’s youngsters has done nothing more than endorse the process Godolphin has in place as the team work through the new generation of racehorses provided to them by Godolphin’s Australian studs.

“It’s certainly encouraging to get off to a good start, but we all know there are no guarantees,” Cummings said. The star so far among the Godolphin two-year-olds – and probably the best seen anywhere before Christmas – is Tassort, a son of Brazen Beau whose five-length, debut win at Rosehill in late November made him the popular early pick for the G1 Golden Slipper.

“Tassort was certainly impressive and at this stage he is the benchmark among our two-year-olds,” the trainer said.

“We’ve had a few other nice winners among the youngsters, but we’ll wait and see what happens after Christmas and the New Year.”

Tassort, who was put away until the autumn after his debut, is out of Essaouria, making him a half-brother to the G1 winners Astern and Alizee, so he had something, going for him. As does the filly Athiri, a half-sister to Godolphin’s stakes-winning filly Savatiano (Street Cry), who was almost as impressive as her stablemate when she won at Rosehill on Saturday, 1 December.

The other early winners Kiamichi (Sidestep) and Tenley (Medaglia d’Oro) have similarly impressed with city victories.

Cummings also has high hopes for another of his Brazen Beau youngsters, Muiron, a filly from the Stakes-winning Northern Meteor mare Veuvelicious, along with the Exceed And Excel filly Devachan.

While Cummings describes her as “one for later” she is due to make a pre-Christmas appearance. Yet another to show good ability in trials is Deterge, an Exceed And Excel colt from Cleanse, a mare who won in town at her only two starts.

“We’ll be unwrapping him at Warwick Farm before Christmas,” Cummings said.