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G1 Australian Derby pair looking for classic form

Mike Hedge

A pair of Godolphin three-year-olds who have already shown ability and stamina will now be asked to produce the class necessary to win Saturday’s G1 Australian Derby at Randwick.

Cossetot and Aramayo come into this race with solid, if not spectacular, form and their trainer James Cummings is content with their chances in a race comprised of local hopefuls and the usual group of proven New Zealand three-year-olds.

Cossetot (Glyn Schofield) comes to the race as the winner of the Listed Tasmanian Derby and as a placegetter in better company at his three starts since, the most recent in last Saturday’s G1 Rosehill Guineas in which he finished third to Angel Of Truth.

The son of Epaulette produced a typically gritty performance that convinced Cummings he deserved his chance here.

“He’s the winner of the Tasmanian Derby and he keeps getting stronger as he gets further into what has been a testing preparation,” Cummings said.

“The seven-day back-up will be interesting, but all those miles he’s got in his legs could prove to be to his advantage.”

Aramayo (Tim Clark) showed great potential in the first part of his three-year-old campaign, finishing second in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes over 2,000m at Randwick and sixth in the G1 Victoria Derby at 2,500m.

His four runs this time in have been promising enough to keep him in the picture.

“He looks to be warming up to a peak performance, which we’re going to need to see from him here,” Cummings said.

“His 2,400m form was outstanding at the end of last year and it was at Randwick that he ran one of his best races in the Spring Champion Stakes.”

On the same Randwick card, a previous Derby placegetter, Etymology (Craig Williams) runs in the G2 Chairman’s Handicap with the chance to achieve the crowning moment of his best preparation to date.

In his three-year-old season, Etymology was runner up in the 2015 Victoria Derby, fifth in the ATC Derby, second in the VRC St Leger and second in the South Australian Derby.

Etymology performed encouragingly at his last start, but failed to handle the heavy track when called on.

“He’ll benefit from a sizeable amount of recent racing, but he’ll need to relax better on this surface,” Cummings said.