Cummings to have strong hand at Caulfield

Cummings to have strong hand at Caulfield

The royal blue colours of the global Godolphin operation look set to feature prominently on Blue Diamond Stakes day at Caulfield.

Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia, James Cummings, is set to saddle up a host of chances across the program including Athiri in the $1.5 million Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) for two-year-olds for which she is third favourite behind the Anthony Freedman-trained Lyre, also owned by Godolphin.

Star mare Alizee headlines a three-pronged attack for Cummings in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m).

Alizee is joined in the Futurity by stable stalwart Hartnell and fellow Group One winner Best Of Days, while three-year-old colt Encryption chases a valuable win at the elite level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m).

Away from the three Group One races on the program, Cummings has a couple of other favourites in important lead-up races to bigger targets later in the autumn.

Quality import Avilius is favourite for the Group Two Peter Young Stakes (1800m) while Aramayo is also favoured to win the Group Two Autumn Classic (1800m) for three-year-olds.

Avilius made a big impression in his first Australian campaign and resumed from a spell with a strong victory in the Carlyon Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.

He will be out to enhance his already strong Australian Cup prospects in the Peter Young.

“Avilius has come on nicely from his first-up win,” Cummings said.

“He’s a wonderfully athletic horse who has got natural fitness.

“In his second racing preparation in Australia he looks like he’s ready to go ahead.”

While Cummings’ Futurity Stakes runners all have genuine claims, Alizee is a clear-cut favourite at $2.60 after dominant wins in the Christmas Classic and Expressway Stakes in Sydney this preparation over 1200m.

“I think all three deserve their places there. They are Group One winners, starting with Alizee who is just in magnificent form,” Cummings said.

“She will be suited up to seven furlongs now. Her two runs over 1200 this preparation have both been extremely impressive.

“She’s strong. She’s a better horse than she was in the autumn last year and I think she’s going to make a really good run at them.”

Credit: AAP