Edward Cummings has called on his Tancred Stakes and Australian Cup-winning ally Josh Parr to ensure a wide draw is no barrier to success for the stable’s Kensington bound up and comer, Strait Acer.
A son of Silver Slipper winner Headwater, Strait Acer was more or less overlooked when offered at the Ready 2 Run Sale at Riverside in 2020.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given that he recorded the fourth slowest time for his obligatory 200m gallop of all the 168 two-year-olds looking for new homes.
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“He has been a bit of a surprise packet really,” Cummings explained.
“He was very raw and very new when he first came to us about 12 months ago following his sale at the Ready 2 Runs at Inglis.
“I think he was passed in for $30,000 and bought for $20,000.”
Strait Acer has shown improvement in every gallop, winning his third trial 12-days after his race day debut in a 1300m maiden at home at Hawkesbury.
Cummings’ colt far belied his $26 starting price on the day, going down by the barest possible margin in the end.
“We were confident that he would run well first-up and he obviously just missed,” Cummings said.
“He might possibly meet a harder race on Friday and he is a shorter price so take from that what you will but the horse seems to have done very well since his last start.
“He has an awkward draw but he has a very good rider on in Josh.
“We wanted to get Josh on because he knows what he is doing and he obviously knows the course very well.
“He can get them out and get them going. If the horse jumps well enough for him to be forward, he knows what to do. And if the horse ends up mid-field, Josh will just sit there and bide his time.”
Cummings will have plenty of time in between races on Friday with Strait Acer in the opener while stablemate Three Wise Men is not required until 7pm.
The son of Divine Prophet had a booking at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday but Cummings opted for Friday instead where he forecast a much improved performance and outcome after a disappointing run at Kembla on The Gong Day.
“Obviously we got things wrong tactically in that race first-up the other day,” Cummings said.
“The plan was to be midfield but the horse just over-reacted to Tommy’s (Berry) positive move from the barrier and things became more difficult from that point.
“He has come out of the run very well and Friday presents us with another race within his grasp I think.
“And from a better draw, with a claim of an apprentice (Tyler Schiller) who is in terrific touch, I am confident the horse can be very competitive and take a big step forward from his first-up run.”
STARS ALIGNING FOR LAD TO CLAIM MUDGEE CUP
Dynamic Syndications gelding Awesome Lad has conditions in his favour to take out Friday’s The Big Dance qualifier Mudgee Cup in the town where he was born six years ago.
Awesome Lad was raised at nearby Gooree Stud who raced the horse up until August 2020 when Dean Watt stepped in and purchased the son of I Am Invincible for $75,000 at the farm’s dispersal sale on the Gold Coast.
Going into the Mudgee Cup, Awesome Lad’s earnings stand at a quarter of a million dollars thanks to his neck second in the Four Pillars followed by an easy win in the Summer Provincial Series Heat at Hawkesbury on November 9.
‘The horse is an ATM machine,” Watt said. “I wish I had a stable full of horses as honest as him.
“He is an enigma. We just keep scratching our heads. We look at him on type, we look at him on his catalogue page and we look at him as an individual and none of the three marry up.
“We just really appreciate the outstanding horsemanship our trainer, Jason Deamer, is doing with him.”
Watt was able to give two reasons why Awesome Lad will be at Mudgee on Friday in preference to a possible visit to Kensington instead.
“We have got clients who like winning Country Cups and we win a lot of them but we haven’t got a Mudgee Cup on the mantelpiece yet and Awesome Lad is the horse that is going to give us an excellent opportunity of achieving that goal,” Watt said.
“We’re actually also using (the Mudgee Cup) as a final hit out for the Provincial Summer Series.
“He won one of the qualifying heats for that so he is in the Grand Final and we needed to run somewhere. When we got marble 14 in town, it was a no-brainer.
“I am very confident he will run a strong mile, I always have been, but it is ideal now with barrier 3 that he won’t have to do a lot of work in the run,” Watt said.
Originally published as Kensington, Mudgee previews: Edwards Cummings calls on Josh Parr to deliver a city win on surprice packet colt