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Anthony Cummings’ up-and-coming colt Never Can Tell entered 2013 Golden Slipper contention over the weekend when retaining their undefeated status with a Listed win at Rosehill.
The son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner War Pass easily won their race debut back in October by three lengths at Rosehill and returned to the track first-up off a four month break on Saturday to post another career success.
Ridden by Peter Robl, also aboard for their maiden success, Never Can Tell ($8.50) overcame the far outside barrier (10 of 10) and put half a length on Gai Waterhouse’s well-backed favourite Whittington ($2) in the Listed Canonbury Stakes (1100m) with the David Payne-trained Criterion ($9) a further two and a half lengths away third.
Cummings now plans to continue onto bigger Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival features with his Canonbury Stakes winner whose grand final aim is the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 6.
Never Can Tell has since been heavily backed into $21 in the Golden Slipper odds after Cummings’ expressed his belief the youngster would easily get the extra 100m of the Slipper.
“He did a good job at his first start and had a good break afterwards,” Cummings said on Saturday.
“We can pick and choose how we get to the Slipper. At 1200 metres he will be better again.
“He has shown he can switch off and switch on again which is a good attribute to have.
“He is easily up to Slipper class on that.
“He did all the work and still had a decent kick to win. He is so relaxed and he is going to get better from that.”
Robl agreed and said that despite the fact they switched on and off during their run there was still improvement in the horse and the Slipper was calling.
“You would be worried if he only won by that far and was fully trained up, but he is still learning,” Robl explained.
“He had that spell after the win in the spring and has only had half-a-dozen gallops and one trial before that. He can only go up.”
Cummings and connections of Never Can Tell Gooree Pastoral Company saddled up one of the top fancies for the 2011 Slipper in Smart Missile who was scratched at the gates, a result that still haunts the trainer.
“We’re not there yet,” Cummings said.
The beaten Canonbury favourite Whittington meanwhile was the $11 third favourite in the futures Slipper markets prior to their weekend loss but has now drifted out to $18.
Still Waterhouse was happy with their effort and will press ahead to the end-of-autumn classic.
“He was competitive,” she said.
“The two colts cleared away from the rest.”
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