Cum­mings tar­gets G2 Villiers with his Boy

The Sportsman Midweek - - Latest Trackwork | Times - CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

THE Villiers Stakes looms as the sum­mer tar­get for Sky Boy and his co-trainer An­thony Cum­mings be­lieves he can go even higher than Group 2 level as he con­tin­ues to ma­ture.

The four-year- old claimed his third con­sec­u­tive win this prepa­ra­tion in the Aus­tralian Turf Club Hand­i­cap (2000m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens on Satur­day, lead­ing all-the-way in a forced change of plan.

Cum­mings and jockey Chris­tian Reith had hoped he could get cover but it failed to ma­te­ri­alise and Sky Boy ($1.90 fav) toughed it out un­der 60kg in front to hold off Nic­o­chet ($10) by a short neck.

“The horse we thought would lead didn’t and he was left in front,” Cum­mings said.

“He is much bet­ter with cover but it didn’t turn out that way.

“They chal­lenged him through­out the race and de­spite the weight, he was still able to re­spond un­der pres­sure and win.

“We’ve given him plenty of time to ma­ture and he is a re­ally nice horse.”

Sky Boy is raced by Think Big Stud and the es­tate of Dato Tan Chin Nam who died last month.

The geld­ing is by Group 1-placed Pen­dragon out of Zaz­abelle who ran third in the 1999 Melbourne Cup.

Both horses were trained by Bart Cum­mings and raced

Dato Tan be­fore Pen­dragon be­came the foun­da­tion stal­lion for his Think Big Stud in the NSW South­ern High­lands.

Dun­can Ra­m­age, who man­aged the Aus­tralian in­ter­ests of Malaysian busi­ness­man, said Sky Boy’s her­itage made

Boy a spe­cial horse. “He’s by horse raced by Dato and trained by Bart out of one also raced Dato and trained by Bart,” Ra­m­age said.

An­thony Cum­mings, who trains in part­ner­ship with his son Ed­ward, said Sky Boy would re­turn to Rose­hill in two weeks.

“He’ll run in an 1800m race here in a cou­ple of weeks,” he said.

“It is higher rat­ing race and he will carry less weight.”

Satur­day’s race was a Bench­mark 78 with the 1800m-race in two weeks at 88 level.

The Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) is Royal Rand­wick on De­cem­ber 15 with the win­ner guar­an­teed a start in the Group 1 Don­caster Mile April.

Sky Boy.

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