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Cummings and Godolphin off to dream start

Mike Hedge

James Cummings has made the perfect start to his new role as Godolphin’s Australian head trainer with his first runner in the royal blue silks coming home a winner.

Manicure, a two-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel, showed courage and dash to win the TAB Rewards Handicap at Sydney’s Warwick Farm track, with Cummings passing credit to his predecessor Darren Beadman.

“Darren will be very pleased with that, he’s got a lot of time for this filly,” Cummings said.

“She’s a stylish filly who has trained on nicely.”

Cummings has had a previous relationship with Godolphin’s founder and guiding force, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, through the G1 winner Hallowed Crown who is now a Darley stallion.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was involved in the ownership of Hallowed Crown, but this is my first runner in the Godolphin colours,” he said.

“The period ahead is one that I’m going to really enjoy. I can focus on being a horse trainer, enjoy the processes and continue to learn and build with a really good team around me.”

Manicure (Corey Brown), who was having her third start, showed speed from the gates before settling just behind and looked beaten until being asked for the supreme effort that put her nose in front of runner-up Brook Magic in the last stride.