Preparing to line up for his 73rd start, evergreen gelding Cuban Royale will be chasing a slice of Carrington Stakes history when he bids to become the first horse in more than three decades to capture back-to-back wins.
Sunalong Lass in 1989-90 was the last horse to win the Listed sprint twice, while At Sea took it out three years in succession from 1985-87.
Cuban Royale was successful 12 months ago off the back of a summer campaign but has been given a different preparation this time around, freshened up following The Gong in November and tuning up for Saturday’s Randwick assignment with a closing last-start fifth over 1300m at Rosehill.
“This has been his grand final target,” co-trainer Luke Price said.
“The horse had a really good prep last time without winning a race, and then his run the other day was full of merit.
“He ran close to the fastest sectional in the race and I couldn’t be any happier with him.”
A nine-year-old, Cuban Royale has posted 10 career-wins, his 2023 Carrington Stakes (1400m) victory his crowning moment.
But Price says the veteran is showing no signs of slowing down and while conceding this year’s renewal of the sprint is stronger, he is adamant the horse is up to the task.
“He saw the course proper on Saturday and again Tuesday at Kembla, and I thought he really set the track alight,” Price said.
“There looks a little more depth to the race this year than last year, but a lot of the other horses are first-up, so we will see what happens.
“This horse looks amazing in his coat and he gets around like a three-year-old, so there are plenty of races left in him.”
A field of 14 plus one emergency has been accepted for the Carrington Stakes, including the in-form Felix Majestic for Gary Nickson and the John O’Shea-trained trio of Zou Tiger, Waihaha Falls and Maximal.
The latter has been off the scene for more than a year with injury, but is a dual Group 1 placegetter and returns for the first time as a gelding.
– RAS NewsWire