Prece­dence primed

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

BART Cum­mings has omi­nously de­clared Prece­dence a s u p e r i o r 2 0 0 0 m e t r e F l e m i n g t o n h o r s e t o Sirmione who only j ust failed to win his sec­ond Aus­tralian Cup a year ago.

Cum­mings said he was con­fi­dent Sirmione would give him his 14th Aus­tralian Cup last year but be­lieves Prece­dence can set the record straight to­day.

‘‘ I think he is bet­ter stayer on this course at a mile and a q u a r t e r ( 2 0 0 0 m) t h a n Sirmione, and he was pretty good,’’ Cum­mings said.

Sirmione won t he 2008 Aus­tralian Cup four months af­ter a shock win at $ 61 in the G r o u p O n e M a c k i n n o n Stakes ( 2000m) at Flem­ing­ton on Derby Day.

A year later be broke down get­ting ready for the 2009 Aus­tralian Cup but came back last year and went down in a photo-fin­ish to Zip­ping while his sta­ble­mate Moa­t­ize was third.

‘‘ I was con­fi­dent last year he ( Sirmione) would win and he just got beaten,’’ Cum­mings said.

‘‘ I thought he had al­most won it. There was noth­ing in it, just a bob of the head.’’

Cum­mings said Prece­dence was a tough stayer but was set an im­pos­si­ble mis­sion last year in the Mel­bourne Cup when he got too far back.

‘‘ I don’t re­ally want to say much about it but he was in the sec­ond divi­sion of the race with­out any rea­son to be there,’’ Cum­mings said. bourne Cup again this year.

He said the Zabeel fiveyear-old, who is $ 6.50 for the Aus­tralian Cup with TAB Sports­bet, had trained on strongly af­ter his sec­ond to $ 4.60 Cup favourite Heart Of Dreams in the St Ge­orge Stakes ( 1800m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.

‘‘ Dur­ing the week he ran his last three fur­longs ( 600m) in 37 sec­onds out near the out­side run­ning rail on the course proper,’’ Cum­mings said.

‘‘ Whether it was a win­ning gal­lop time will tell, but I think it was.’’

Steven Arnold will ride Prece­dence but Cum­mings con­ceded bar­rier 13 in the 15-horse field was a concern.

‘‘ Bar­rier three in­stead of 13 would have been Cum­mings said.

‘‘ I would like to see him mid­field but it makes it hard to do that from an out­side bar­rier so he will have to ride him for a bit of luck to start with.

‘‘ To get there ( mid­field) he might have to be two or three wide which is a big area to cover from the seven ( fur­longs, 1400m) to around the home turn in the straight.’’

The Flem­ing­ton track was rated a dead ( 4) yes­ter­day af­ter­noon but Cum­mings was hop­ing for more cush­ion to boost Prece­dence’s chances. ‘‘ There won’t be as much m o i s t u r e a s t h e y f i r s t thought which is un­for­tu­nate be­cause my horse loves the wet,’’ Cum­mings said.

bet­ter,’’

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