Tamerlane secures Winter Stakes at Royal Randwick

David Murray
Dave Murray

Tamerlane rewarded head trainer James Cummings’ judgement when he ground out a fighting win in the Listed Winter Stakes over 1,400m at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 6 July.

Unplaced on two heavy tracks at Scone and Warwick Farm this preparation, Cummings decided to run Tamerlane in the Winter Stakes despite his top weight of 59kgs after indications the wet surface at Randwick was improving.

Well ridden by leading Godolphin apprentice Zac Lloyd, who landed his fourth winner of the day. Tamerlane grabbed the speedy Iknowastar to win by a long neck with King Of The Castle the same margin away in third place.

The six-year-old gelding took his record to 10 wins and 10 placings from 35 starts, also bursting through the $1 million prize-money barrier to $1,053,290.

“Congratulations to Zac, and a great effort from this horse and from the team to get him back in form this preparation,” Cummings said.

“It hadn’t looked great on paper, but we had a strong feeling he was going a lot better than his two runs back had suggested.

“I thought the run last week (eighth) was the run he really needed to bring him on.

“Zac really made the leader work early and Tamerlane was up this morning gearing up for a big effort.

“We were tempted to pull him out today but I was pleased to see the upgrade come through, it was a good sign.

“That made a big difference for this horse, he likes the give but he just didn’t want it too wet.”

In winning his second Stakes race, Tamerlane recorded his sixth victory, with five placings, over his favourite 1,400m – covering the distance in 1 minute 24.26s seconds on the improving Heavy 8 surface.

Lloyd, who has now ridden 58.5 city winners for the season, complimented Tamerlane and Cummings.

“James is a genius,”  the young rider said.

“He said to me pre-race he believed he had him quite big at Warwick Farm and he was expecting a more forward showing from the horse today and he got it right.

“Pre-race, I really wanted to ride him like the old Tamerlane when he bowls along in front by four.

“Iknowastar made him go on and I think it helped Tamerlane, helped switch him on.

“I got a nice slipstream behind him and he was in a good rhythm.

“He stood his ground nicely and toughed it out against a nice horse in Iknowastar.”

Once race later stablemate Contemporary (Nash Rawiller) gave Cummings a double when he resumed from a freshen-up to win the Catanach’s Jewellers Benchmark 88 Handicap (1,200m) from Elson Boy and With Your Blessing.

It was the four-year-old Exceed And Excel gelding’s fifth win, with nine placings, from 19 starts and came two months after he resumed with a stylish victory at the Hawkesbury standalone city meeting.

Cummings planned to campaign Contemporary in Brisbane last month but shelved the idea when he showed signs of lameness after being shod.