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James & Bart Cummings have confirmed the main Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival goal for veteran nine-year-old Precedence this season will be a shot at securing three straight Moonee Valley Gold Cup wins.
The Zabeel gelding has won two editions of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup over the past four years and will be back this October shooting for a hat-trick of wins in the Cox Plate Day feature.
He first won the race in 2010 on the back of a third to Linton in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and in the lead-up to an eighth behind French raider Americain in that year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Precedence missed the next year’s edition but did race in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups that spring finishing 10th and 11th respectively in the two classics.
In 2012 he contested the Moonee Valley Gold Cup again this time running fourth to Vatuvei , and then contested his third straight Melbourne Cup when jumping from barrier 20 of 24 to run six lengths away ninth behind the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon.
Last spring Precedence missed a run in the ‘world’s richest handicap’ at Flemington but showed they still had a few wins in their ageing legs securing the renamed Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) win before a narrow Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) victory next start on Emirates Stakes Day.
After a hit-and-miss Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign this year the old warhorse has again been assigned the Cox Plate Day mission with a run in the set weights and penalties’ $250,000 Moonee Valley Cup on October 25 on the agenda once again.
James Cummings, who trains in partnership with his Hall of Fame grandfather, said the stable would give Precedence a hit-out on Friday ahead of their return.
The horse has been working well at their Flemington stables and was on track for a return next month.
“He’s going well, ticking along and the guys are happy with him,” Cummings told AAP.
“He’s on target and one of his main goals will be to defend his Moonee Valley Cup.”
First-up Cummings is looking at a 1400m Listed race at Flemington on Makybe Diva Stakes Day before a second-up run in the $200,000 Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 26, a race he won in 2010 before their opening Moonee Valley Gold Cup trophy.
Precedence has also been nominated for the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and pays $81 as a roughie for the race through Ladbrokes.com.au.
A 2014 Melbourne Cup entry when nominations close on September 2 could also be on the cards after he missed out by one spot on the ballot in the capacity 24-starter field last November.
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