Shadows to be Scratched if Sun Doesn’t Shine at Doomben

Top Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings has warned that he won’t hesitate scratching his SA Derby winner Shadows In The Sun from Saturday’s Doomben Cup showdown if the weather fails to hold in the sunshine state.

Zavite & Descarado

Zavite (Inside) is one of two acceptors along with Shadows In The Sun for Anthony Cummings in the Doomben Cup

Progressive Dane Shadow three-year-old Shadows In The Sun broke their Group winning maiden in fine style in Adelaide last start, Shadows In The Sun taking out the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 8.

They now sit as a $31 outsider to score successive elite level wins after being accepted for the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) this Saturday.

The generous odds, however, could be in part due to Cummings’ openness that Shadows In The Sun will be scratched from the Cup if he sees a deterioration in the weather in Brisbane.

“The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting showers for the rest of the week but the weather has been fine and the track (at Doomben) is good at the moment,” Cummings said.

“Shadows In The Sun is up in Brisbane but I will be more than happy to scratch him and wait a week to run in the Grand Prix Stakes against his own age if the showers fall.”

The $150,000 Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) runs on May 28, the first winter carnival meeting at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse.

To date Shadows In The Sun has started 18 times for three wins and three minor placings, the gelding having failed to let down in his runs on wet ground.

Prior to the SA Derby, they started in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 23 but could only manage to finish sixth beaten over 10 lengths by fellow Doomben Cup acceptor Shootoff due to the Heavy track conditions on the day.

“He is a much better dry tracker and if I am forced to run on a rain-affected track I’d prefer to be doing it against three-year-olds instead of older horses,” Cummings said.

Shadows In The Sun is one of two Doomben Cup hopefuls for Cummings who has also accepted his veteran Zabeel gelding Zavite for the feature.

A rising nine-year-old, Zavite is at slightly shorter odds than their younger stablemate for a Doomben Cup upset paying $21.

Due to jump from barrier six with Chris Munce aboard, Zavite showed he was still able to perform at the highest level when winning the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in March as a $101 roughie.

His next two runs have been slightly disappointing, however, when eighth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and most recently a distant ninth beaten 11.5 lengths by one of the Doomben Cup favourites My Kingdom Of Fife in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 23.

Still, Cummings is happy with Zavite’s current fitness and believes his old warhorse will be competitive on Saturday.

“He is there fit and well and will run an honest race like he always does,” Cummings said of Zavite.