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Cascadian’s Australian Cup win a triumph for Cummings

Dave Murray

A decision to back-up Cascadian in the G1 Australian Cup proved a masterstroke as the ageless Godolphin warrior scored his greatest win in the feature event on Saturday, March 25 at Flemington.

Unluckily beaten when second in the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley seven days earlier, Cascadian overcame a chequered passage in the home straight to beat Numerian and Pounding in a stirring finish.

Head trainer James Cummings was quietly confident during the week after Cascadian pulled up so well from The Valley.

Cummings joined his brother Edward and legendary grandfather Bart on the Australian Cup honour roll.

Bart won the race 13 times, while Edward won last year with Duais, his first runner in the event.

“I’m privileged as a young Cummings to be here on the big stage and have competitors in races like these,” Cummings said.

“I had a very stern meeting with my brother Edward yesterday and talked to him about how I might be able to go about winning this and at the conclusion of it he said, ‘you go and win it this year and I’ll be back to win it next year’.

“That’s the beauty of having the confidence that we are in these races and we’ve got the teams behind us to be competitive.”

Cascadian, the eight-year-old former English galloper won his third G1, after the Doncaster Mile and All-Aged Stakes, giving jockey Ben Melham another big-race success for Godolphin after riding Paulele to success in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth late last year.

“James has done a tremendous job to bring him here in that condition and to back up his All-Star Mile run with a sensational win like this is fantastic,” Melham said.

“Jamie (Kah, Melham’s partner) won the Doncaster on him and I got a bit of advice off her how to ride him and she’s probably in hospital watching.

“It was special and more so for the horse as well, he’s been deserving of a Group 1 here at Flemington and what a race to do it in.”

Cummings had earlier watched Kallos win his second Stakes race and his third at Flemington down the straight in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro burst down the centre of the track to beat The Bopper and A Very Fine Red with Melham in the saddle.

Kallos won the G2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington as a three-year-old but lost his way a little until returning this preparation in fine form. 

At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, the Cummings-trained Amur (Nash Rawiller) and Bacchanalia (Rachel King) also won Stakes races.

Bacchanalia won the G3 Star Kingdom Stakes over 1,200m, beating Clemenceau and Coal Crusher, after Amur had beaten stablemate Inhibitions and Waverley in the G3 T.L. Baillieu Handicap (1,400m).

Godolphin bloodstock manager Jason Walsh said Bacchanalia could be in for his best preparation.

“He’s come back at the level we always hoped he would,” Walsh said.

“It’s good to see him win a Stakes race today and he looks in for a good prep.

“He’s coming into his own as he matures physically and mentally.

“There are plenty of options coming up over the next month and if it rains he’ll probably be an even better chance.”

Stable representative Darren Beadman said improving colt Amur may have earned himself a start in the G1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes next month.

A dual Moonee Valley winner at the start of his two-year-old campaign, Amur disappointed in the Talindert Stakes at Flemington last month before an improved third in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce at the same track on 11 March.

That 1,400m run had him ripe for the Baillieu and the big chestnut finished fastest.

“He came up here in fine order and he had the tough run over the 1400m in the Sires’ Produce, which really toughened him up for this,” Beadman said.

“But he’s only going to get bigger and better as he gets older as well.

“He went to Melbourne and won his first couple down there, wherever he’s been he’s made his presence felt.

“He was able to have that nice, cushy run in the race today.

“Now he’s a Stakes winner but I think there are bigger and better things ahead for him.”

Rawiller said he nursed Amur for as long as possible but always thought he was on the winner.

“I just tried to conserve as much as I could, but at the 150m I went for it to make sure I got home,” he said.

“He’s still learning his craft, he’s still a big baby boy.

“He’s just going through one of those stages, but to his credit he really dug deep and that’s what you want to see in a horse.”

The ATC Sires’ Produce is run at Royal Randwick on 15 April over 1,600m.