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Co-trainer James Cummings has confirmed evergreen warhorse Precedence will defend his Moonee Valley Cup title this spring, the nine-year-old to contest the race for a fourth time.
In partnership with his iconic 12-time Melbourne Cup winning grandfather Bart Cummings, James rates veteran stayer Precedence as a top chance in the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day, October 25, based on his recent form.
A track specialist at the tight Moonee Valley circuit, the Zabeel gelding was last see finishing a close fifth beaten just over a length by 2014 Cox Plate-bound The Cleaner in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) on September 26.
His latest win was in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) in November last Melbourne Cup Carnival, and Cummings is confident Precedence can break the drought next month.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival he ran third-up in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and carried 56kg to victory over Shoreman, his second success in the race since 2010.
That was his third appearance in the showdown following a fourth to Vatuvei in 2012 and his victory in 2010 over Above Average.
While the Cummings’ stable has dominated the Spring Cups over the years, this season Precedence looks their sole chance for both the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (2400m) at Flemington on November 4.
He’s a roughie shot in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for both classics however paying $101 in futures Caulfield Cup odds and all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets.
Precedence has contested just one previous Caulfield Cup when a distant 10th behind Southern Speed back in 2011, while his two Melbourne Cup runs over the years were also unremarkable when eight to French import Americain (2010) and ninth behind Green Moon two years ago.
He will be at a much shorter price however to win the Moonee Valley Cup should he run, his JRA Cup performance full of merit after he got closed out in the closing stages suggesting his best position might be further off the fence.
“Yeah he’s ticking along beautifully, he’s got a real zest for it,” Cummings said on RSN Sport this morning.
“He’s a couple of lengths better when he gets to the outside so he’s going to be a real chance in the race he won last year, the Moonee Valley Cup.”
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