Drago Up And Coming for Big Spring Carnival

August 22, 2013

Drago Up And Coming for Big Spring Carnival

Anthony Cummings’ Sydney-based youngster Drago is gearing up to make their three-year-old debut in the $125,000 Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday as they head toward a Group 1 run this spring carnival.

Drago

Drago kicks off their three-year-old season in Saturday's Up And Coming Stakes 2013. Photo: Steve Hart.

While Cummings is yet to map out their exact spring agenda, the trainer knows he’s got a progressive type on his hands with Danehill Dancer colt Drago who was competitive at elite level against his own kind last season.

A $55,000 bargain buy from last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales, Drago has earned more than double that in prize money over their four promising starts as a two-year-old during the autumn.

They were thrown into the deep end right from the get go debuting with a sixth to Sidestep in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at the end of March.

Next-up they were tested at elite level and far from disgraced when four lengths away fourth to the Peter Snowden-trained winner Guelph in the Group 1 ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).

They had a wide barrier 12 (of 13) draw for that and it was the same for their next run when drawn in the carpark (13 of 13) for the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).

Guelph completed a Group 1 double by winning the Champange and Drago finished fourth in their wake again, this time defeated under a length obviously enjoying the extra distance in the mile feature.

Proving to be a stayer in the making Drago was last seen winning he Juvenile Stayer at Rosehill on May 11 over 1800m by a commanding four lengths.

There are a number of nice options for them this time in then including the $1 million Group 1 The BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12 and even the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.

Should they continue to rise through the ranks and show ability over extra metres the obvious target however becomes the $1 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Cummings won the Victoria Derby last spring with Fiveandahalfstar.

The 1300m of Saturday’s Up And Coming Stakes 2013 then could be a little sharp for them, but Cummings still believes them a winning chance as does jockey Peter Robl riding them for the first time since their debut.

“You’ve got to be mindful that he is first-up over 1300 metres but he is progressing nicely,” Robl said this week according to AAP.

“He is definitely a winning chance.

“He will improve with the run and he will appreciate further but he has the ability to win this race on Saturday (as) he has definitely come back a more mature horse.”

Their nice experience around the best of this crop of three-year-olds has seen Drago installed at the top of the Up And Coming Stakes odds for Saturday as the $4.80 co-favourite with the Chris Waller-trained Kiwi expat Vilanova.

To get behind them now at the best price, or check the markets for the other Warwick Farm races on the weekend, head over to bookmaker.com.au and enjoy a punt with the online bookie rewarding new depositing players with a bonus welcome bet valued up to $500!

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