Sydney horseman Anthony Cummings is pleased with the form and condition of his progressive three-year-old Best Case who he will saddle-up in the Sandown Guineas 2013 in Melbourne this weekend.
One of 11 hopefuls engaged in this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m), running at Caulfield due to the track upgrade at Sandown, Savabeel gelding Best Case is considered a top chance in the classic.
Sandown Guineas betting is led by Peter Snowden’s Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes winner Paximadia at $3.50.
Only a little further down the markets punters can find Best Case, drawn one outside the favourite in gate six, who is out to improve on their last start fourth in the Carbine.
For that run, where they jumped awkwardly and were beaten two and a half lengths on the line, the New Zealand-bred brother of Strike The Stars was ridden by Damien Oliver.
Oliver, who rode his third Melbourne Cup winner this spring saluting aboard the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente, retains the Sandown Guineas ride on Best Case this weekend.
Paximadia was up front in the Carbine for their all-the-way win dictating the pace, Cummings hoping for more speed for Saturday’s rematch to help out his horse.
“A really slow pace in the Carbine Club played against him but his run was really good,” Cummings told AAP.
“He got caught behind (runner-up) Hucklebuck and that horse was late coming into the picture and we were behind it.
“There should be better speed on Saturday and that will be to his benefit.”
In the past 30 years 12 Sandown Guineas winners came via the Carbine, Cummings hopeful Best Case can make it a baker’s dozen.
Paximadia meanwhile will be out to become the sixth to complete the double in that time.
Other notable hopes in the race include Waterhouse’s Carbine third placegetter Equator and Choisir colt Apollo’s Choice up in class here.
The Sandown Guineas field could also have included Cummings’ Danehill Dancer gelding Surge Ahead, however the trainer has opted to send them out for a spell ahead of an autumn return.
A half-brother to Smart Missile, Surge Ahead enjoyed a win over Pompeius in the Listed Batman Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Oaks Day prompting for their Guineas nomination.
However Cummings will save their Group debut for early next year with their early autumn target to be the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 29 ahead of the $1.5 million Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m) on April 12.
“Surge Ahead is going to go to the paddock and his target will be the Rosehill Guineas in the autumn,” he said.
“A decision will be made after that but he’ll most likely go on to the Derby.”
Cummings also has Group 1 Guineas ambitions for Best Case who he will set for Melbourne’s $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1 as well as the $500,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) a fortnight later in Sydney.
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