Champion goal for Dancer on way to Derby
Anthony Cummings is renowned for the bold placement of his horses and it is an approach that is rooted in experience.
Just over a decade ago, Cummings had an exciting filly called Danehill Smile, who had won a Canonbury Stakes and Inglis Classic.
He opted to forgo a short-term Group One goal and take a longer-term view but it backfired.
“I took the conservative approach. I don’t do it often, but I did it with her,” Cummings said.
“We thought about going down for the Blue Diamond but elected to give her 10 days in the paddock and when she came back she had three fractured vertebrae.
“She never looked lame but there was just no drive from behind and she was never quite the same.
“I try not to be (conservative) now. That’s always the other side of it.”
It is no surprise Cummings has kept an eye out for the talented mare’s progeny and on Saturday at Randwick he will saddle up her son, Street Dancer, in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes.
While a wide barrier in 15 has made his task harder, Cummings is certain Street Dancer has the ability to figure in the finish.
The three-year-old finished runner-up to second favourite Love Tap in the Gloaming Stakes and is on a Victoria Derby mission.
“Once he got to 1800 and he was able to dictate he shone and ran really smart sectionals,” Cummings said.
“Saturday won’t be his grand final, it will probably be in Melbourne in the Derby.
“He will run very well on Saturday but clearly his winning prospects are dented by the barrier.”
Stablemate Gorshin, a half brother to Cummings’ 2012 Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar, will also line up in the Spring Champion.
The colt has been slow to mature and is still a maiden but he turned in his best performance when runner-up over 2000m at Kembla Grange last start.
Cummings has noticed a difference in him at home over the past few weeks and says he is not the roughest.
“He hasn’t quite got it together yet but the week leading into his last run when he was unlucky, and the time since then, his work has been very good,” Cummings said.
“He’s worked with Street Dancer a couple of times and at least in trackwork, he doesn’t lose anything in comparison.”