James Cummings runs five for Godolphin targeting Group 1 races in Sydney

Autumn season continues in Australia behind closed doors

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 07: Bivouac parades after being ridden by Jockey Glenn Boss to win race 6 the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap during Melbourne Racing at Flemington Racecourse on March 07, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
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Horse racing continues to be staged in some parts of the world amid the coronavirus pandemic - though behind closed doors.

The Randwick course in Sydney will host their autumn season on Saturday with two Group 1 prizes on offer, and Godolphin have five entered across the two races, all trained by James Cummings.

Bivouac and Trekking carry the hopes of the royal blues in the TJ Smith Stakes over the 1,200-metre trip while Cascadian, Best Of Days and Tally challenge for the Doncaster Mile.

Hugh Bowman is booked to ride Bivouac, a six-time winner in 14 starts. He has tasted Group 1 success twice and spearheads Cummings’ pair in the TJ Smith.

Golden Rose at Rosehill last September was the three year old Exceed And Excel colt’s first Group 1 success.

The Newmarket Handicap two starts ago at Flemington on March 7 was his second before finishing third in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley 11 days later.

“He was dominant in the Newmarket,” Cummings told Godolphin.com. “His finish in the William Reid was not up to his usual standard and I’m of the strong opinion that track was his undoing.

“Everything about him in his training between runs has me visualising another ripping performance at Randwick, which is nothing short of what he will need in this year’s TJ Smith. It is a real horse race.”

Trekking (Joshua Parr) is returning to the track for his first run in more than four months and Cummings said he was consistent and in good form, having won a recent barrier trial.

“He’s got plenty of condition on him as you’d expect and while he might not present as a standout, he is a winning chance,” he said of the five year old Street Cry gelding.

Cascadian, under Tommy Berry, is a recent winner of the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude at Rosehill and leads the trainer’s trio in the Doncaster Mile.

“It was a great relief to see him deliver last start after the trouble he’d encountered at his previous two,” Cummings added.

“Sometimes when things like that happen, they don’t deliver when they get the chance, but he did it in great style.”

Best Of Days, a winner at Group 2 level in England and Group 1 level in Australia, is a worthy companion to Cascadian following a sound preliminary when sixth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago.

“He was faced with a very difficult assignment first-up, getting back to last, but he was strong through the line, taking ground of horses like Alizee and Brandenburg,” Cummings said.

“As a Group 1 winner who will be on an upward curve, he’s in the Doncaster on his merits.”

Tally completes the Godolphin line-up, and Cummings isn’t dismissing him despite a lack of recent racing.

“He has fresh form, he’s also been placed twice at Group 1 level, he’s a multiple Stakes winner, and he has no weight on his back,” he said.

Godolphin have racked up 161 winners, including two Group 1 prizes,  his year.

They won 28 prizes across the 10 Dubai World Cup Carnival meetings, with a majority of the remaining successes achieved in Australia, Japan and the USA.