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Larkspur Run takes out G3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes

Dave Murray

Head trainer James Cummings’ dream spring continued when he prepared a double for Godolphin at Flemington in Melbourne on Tuesday, 1 November.

Fresh from victories in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (Golden Mile), G1 Cox Plate (Anamoe) and G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (In Secret) over the past fortnight, Cummings triumphed with Larkspur Run and Renosu on the showcase day in Australian horse racing.

Larkspur Run appreciated the Soft 7 racing surface and put up a brave performance for premier jockey Jamie Kah in the G3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1,400m).

It was the four-year-old Shamardal mare’s first Black-Type victory and lifted her prize-money earnings after three wins and eight placings to $347,815.

Cummings praised great friend and form expert Dominic Beirne and Kah after Larkspur Run held off Literary Magnate and Mac ’N’ Cheese by three-quarters of a length.

“Dominic and I talked about this horse sitting out wide, enabling her to get the right lane at the right time,” Cummings said.

“She’s a tough mare and I’d given her enough runs, including two starts ago (sixth) on a very heavy track at Randwick.

“Her toughness prevailed in a really strong finish over 1,400m, she’s quite deserving of it.”

From her wide barrier, Kah was forced to sit wide on Larkspur Run, but the mare still travelled kindly to the home turn. 

“I think Jamie put her in the right spot and it enabled the horse to show her toughness and prevail,” Cummings said.

“She looked like 1,400m would suit her on her last run (third) at Geelong.

“The ground was a bit firm there and this ground suited her a lot better, and it showed to nice effect.”

Kah agreed Larkspur Run was far more effective with the sting out of the surface.

“When the track came out like it did today, I thought it would be perfect for her,” the rider said.

“It (wide) wasn’t where I wanted to be in the run, I wanted to be back a little bit and get some over.

“But she was really tough and she was never in doubt.”

Earlier in the day, stablemate Renosu won The Schweppervescence Plate for three-year-olds down the straight 1,000m course.

Jockey Blake Shinn allowed the son of Exceed And Excel to balance up out wide early and present at the 400m mark.

Renosu grabbed the lead and then kicked clear to beat stablemate Kin by 1.75 lengths, with Boldinho another three-quarters of a length away win third spot.

“The horses beside him were a little bit faster, so I didn’t press him, I let him find his rhythm and then build from the 700m,” Shinn told connections.

“He was strong, the straight suited him and he turned up with his best and did his job.

It was Renosu’s second win, with two placings, from just nine starts lifted his winnings to $178,050.

The day ended well for Cummings when Tamerlane (Andrew Adkins) won the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1,500m) at Randwick in Sydney.