Cummings Hoping For Another High On Cascadian’s Farewell Tour

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes has a hit and miss record when it comes to fairytale farewells so it’s probably a good thing Godolphin’s James Cummings hasn’t categorically declared Saturday’s feature the final fling for the flashy warhorse Cascadian.

Trainer James Cummings (Pic: Bradley Photos)

It might be but ‘it’s his last campaign’ is as far as Cummings has gone on that subject.

In recent years, Winx’s finale in the 2019 edition of course went to script but the popular father and son duo of Octagonal (1997) and Lonhro (2004) had their respective parties spoiled in the race.

Cascadian doesn’t have the racing bubble breaking profile of those horses but his longevity, looks, and ability has endeared him to the racing public.

“He’s in his last racing campaign for us,” Cummings said.

“He’s right up there with one of the best imports we’ve had in Australia and the only Northern Hemisphere horse we still have in training.

“He’s just about become the most popular horse we have in training in Australia.

“It would be a moment hard to describe for us if he were able to get it done.”

The nine-year-old hasn’t contested the Group 1 $5 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) among his 53 starts but he’s won a Doncaster in 2021 and an All-Aged in 2022, and ran third in that race last year, during the autumn carnival.

He arrives a dual Australian Cup winner after he ran down Pride Of Jenni to secure his fourth Group 1 win and Cummings said he’d like to see the Queen Elizabeth be a similar test of late strength.

“That was a very solidly run Australian Cup and he lapped it up,’’ he said.

“He just keeps running top races when the pace is right on.

“He’s got a lethal turn of foot, as good as the horses who are backmarkers in this race.

“The pace should be genuine, Pride Of Jenni could be kept honest and she’ll make her own running.”

Cummings said Cascadian, $8.50 with TAB on Thursday, has continued to train on since his Australian Cup win and if it is to be his last race then he’ll be giving it everything.

“Cascadian means business, I saw him bowl around (Thursday) morning at Osborne Park and he looked magnificent,” he said.

“He was breathtaking in a piece of work this week, so there’s no doubt he’s gone right ahead with that win in the Australian Cup.”

Zardozi has her chance to turn the tables on Orchestral and Tutta La Vita when the Vinery trifecta clash again the Group 1 $1 million The Star Australian Oaks (2400m).

After electing not to take on the boys in last week’s Australian Derby, Cummings said the improvement in the track from Day 1 of The Star Championships, while still having some cushion, will be more to her liking.

The filly is in line to be the first VRC Oaks winner to complete the double since Serenade Rose in 2006 and match Riff Rocket’s effort winning the spring and autumn Derbies.

“There’s no doubt her VRC Oaks performance would have her a hugely competitive chance, even against the very impressive New Zealand filly Orchestral,’’ he said.

“Having had that solid lung-burning run over 2,000m in the Vinery, Zardozi is going to be well set up for the Australian Oaks.

“Hopefully, with the right run through and being able to put herself into the race, she’ll give herself a chance to turn the tables.”

Cummings said there’ll be no excuses for Zardozi with the tough 2000m run under her belt.

“There’s a lot to be said for the match practice that Zardozi lacked when the pressure went on in the Vinery,” he said.

“She’s got that now, therefore I think she’s going to be ready to fire. It should be game on for the Oaks this weekend.”

– Racing NSW

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