STARTING NEW LIFE WITHOUT THE KING
JAMES Cummings goes to the Canterbury races today with runners solely under his name for the first time – and it is the busiest day for the stable in years.
Cummings had been in a training partnership with his famous grandfather Bart, but with the death of the “Cups King” on Sunday the training business enters a new era.
The name “James Cummings” will now appear in formguides alongside runners out of famous Leilani Lodge from today, with nine acceptors at Canterbury.
“I can’t remember the last time the stable had a runner in every race at a Sydney meeting – it certainly hasn’t happened in the two years I have been training,’’ James said. “We are going to be busy.’’ Cummings has some outstanding winning chances at today’s meeting, most notably Shahrazad in the Schweppes Handicap (1100m).
“Shahrazad is going to a Benchmark 65 race over 1100m and I was very confident we had found the right race for her, but then I had a look at the opposition and there is a very nice horse from Canberra, Beau Tirage, who is coming through the grades,’’ he admitted.
“Beau Tirage has won three races by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths so he will be hard to catch around Canterbury but Shahrazad is going to race very well again.’’
Cummings confirmed Burning Passion would take his place in the All Too Hard At Vinery Handicap (1250m) despite the outside barrier.
“Burning Passion will run,” he said. “He is going so well, and although the barrier is not ideal the barrier is not everything.’’
Cummings has Nazir and Kinagat in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1580m), while The Special Two makes a return to racing after injury in the TAB Place Multi Handicap (1200m).
The trainer is sending Fifty Flags (Tab.com.au Handicap), Camari and Set The Limit (McGrath Estate Agents Handicap) to the races for the first time today and expects the trio to be competitive, while Cast In Stone (Cellarbrations Handicap) will appreciate getting out to 1900m.
SKY Channel’s Brent Zerafa had his case adjourned after his lawyer Damian Sheales made submissions to Racing NSW stewards yesterday.
Zerafa is charged with conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.
He backed Palazzo Pubblico after he “tipped” I Am Zelady on air when working for the now defunct TVN on January 17.
Palazzo Pubblico and I Am Zelady were both trained by disqualified trainer Sam Kavanagh, who was this week found guilty of 23 charges relating to cobalt use and raceday treatments.
It has been alleged Zerafa had “inside information” surrounding Palazzo Pubblico after receiving a text from John Camilleri, who was also found guilty of six raceday treatments charges this week.
GODOLPHIN has secured Brazilian star Joao Moreira to ride form colt Shards in the $1 million Golden Rose at Rosehill next week.
Moreira, Hong Kong’s reigning premier rider, is regarded by many as the world’s best jockey.