By Craig Young
Bart Cummings may well be on the cusp of one of the great training performances as the maestro tries to win an eighth Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
Due to recent eye surgery Cummings will not be present at Caulfield to watch the former US galloper Sanagas contest the $2.5 million staying contest over 2400m.
“They race on all types of drugs in American, you don’t know what they’ve raced on but he seems to be going along OK,” Cummings said on Thursday.
“He seems to be going along all right, he is gradually improving. He is working better each week, seems to be working better as we do a bit more research on him.”
A winner of the group 1 Hollywood Gold Cup over 2414m last November Sanagas has had three starts for Cummings and goes into the first leg of the famed cups double having finished last, beaten 5.7lengths, in last Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.
“It was a weight-for-age race and he is back to a handicap,” Cummings said. “He has drawn barrier three and the distance is up his alley. He is a rough each-way hope.”
Cummings first won the Caulfield in 1966 when Galilee did the job. Other winners for the great man were Big Philou (1969), Leilani (1974), Migh Dynasty (1977 & 1980), Let’s Elope (1991) and Viewed (2009).
Joining Sanagas at Caulfield is stablemate and last start Stan Fox third placegetter Divine Moon which runs in the D’Urban Gothic Stakes.
“He is going well and it looks a good race for him,” Cummings said. “Only a small horse but has a big heart.”
Cummings may make an appearance at Randwick on Saturday where another import, the former UK stayer, Dare To Dream can book a trip south by winning the City Tattersalls Club Cup.
“The mile and a half will suit him down to the ground,” Cummings said.
“He has put on a lot of weight since arriving here, the Europeans always do when they come to Australia and are fed like athletes.”
The winner of three from four in the UK Dare To Dream debuted for Cummings when sixth in the Bill Ritchie and then caught the eye last time round when a closing third behind Mourayan in the Craven Plate.
“He is a lightly raced stayer and he is improving all the time,” Cummings said. “He is better weighted now, down to 54kg from the 59kg he carried at weight-for-age last start.”
Cummings hasn’t give up hope of getting Dare To Dream a start in next month’s Melbourne Cup for he said “it depends on what he does on Saturday”.