Anthony Cummings is confident Fontelina can repeat the efforts Outback Prince and deliver the trainer his second win in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes.
Cummings claimed the 2004 TJ Smith with Outback Prince and he believes Fontelina is every bit as capable as his former stable star.
“There’s a fair bit of upside to him. He is every bit as good as Outback Prince.” Cummings said.
Outback Prince won the TJ Smith at his ninth start whereas Fontelina will be attempting Group One glory at just his third start. But Cummings does not believe his colt’s lack of race experience will cost him on race day.
“Outback Prince had a lot more racing than this bloke has had and was very much a colt. This guy is easier to deal with and he’s got a similar level of ability.” Cummings said.
Cummings purchased Fontelina from the Magic Millions ready to run sale on the Gold Coast earlier in the year, and he has no doubt that the colt will run out a strong mile.
Last start Fontelina produced stunning closing sectionals to take out The Pheonix Stakes at Doomben, although none of the horses he defeated that day have come to the TJ Smith Stakes.
Cummings believes that Fontelina’s pedigree suggests that he will run a strong mile.
His grand-dam, Electrique was a dual Group One winner over a mile and listed winner over 2000m, while his sire Testa Rossa was also Group One winner over the mile.
There have been doubts about the ability of race favourite Hot Snitzel to run the mile, and most of them have been based around his pedigree, but Cummings still thinks the Gerald Ryan trained runner is the horse to beat.
“The way Hot Snitzel won the Sires he’s going to be thereabouts again,” Cummings said.
“I thought he went to the line well when he won that day so 1600 meters shouldn’t be a problem.
Cummings also confirmed that he would prepare Fontelina for the Melbourne spring carnival.
“He’ll go straight to the paddock after the TJ Smith and will come back for the Golden Rose in Sydney and all the major three year old races in Melbourne in the spring,” Cummings said.
“The Caulfield Guineas will be one of the main targets.”
Fontelina, who will again be ridden by Luke Nolen is currently being quoted at $4.00 to win the TJ Smith, while Hot Snitzel remains an even money favourite.