Randwick-based trainer Anthony Cummings is seriously considering a quick seven day back-up from a Rosehill Guineas second from Montaigne last weekend into The BMW 2016 at weight-for-age this weekend at Rosehill Gardens.
A winner of two of his six starts to date, smart Road To Rock gelding Montaigne improved on his fifth to Le Romain in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 5 crossing second behind Mick Price’s dominant winner Tarzino in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last Saturday on Slipper Day.
Appreciating the extra metres when seeing further than a mile for the first time, Montaigne was beaten under two lengths by the hot favourite for the upcoming $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 2 during ‘The Championships’.
Winner of the Victoria Derby over 2500m in Melbourne last spring, Tarzino is at an odds-on price in pre-field Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $1.80 for the win after his Rosehill Guineas success.
Montaigne is at $11 in those same futures markets, and Cummings is still thinking about the mile and a half feature for his progressive gelding.
Firstly though he must make a call on the short turnaround from the Rosehill Guineas into the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) over the same distance as the Derby this Saturday.
“There’s no Tarzino in the BMW,” Cummings told AAP.
“The BMW is as good an option as the Derby but running in it would not necessarily rule the Derby out.
“All things are possible.
“It really depends on him but he has come out of the race as well as he ever has.”
Just a dozen gallopers are nominated for The BMW this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, and the absence of Tarzino is a definite drawcard for Cummings who prepared the 2013 The BMW winner Fiveandahalfstar, who took out the previous season’s Victoria Derby.
Fiveandahalfstar won as a three-year-old, the only of that age to win the race since Grand Zulu (2004), promising form for Cummings who could give Montaigne the chance to repeat the feat.
Should he run jockey Damien Oliver will replace Blake Shinn in the saddle, Oliver a dual The BMW Stakes winning hoop after success aboard Blutigeroo (2007) and the ill-fated Cedarberg (2011).
Leading the early all-in The BMW odds are the Chris Waller-trained Australian Cup winning Zabeel four-year-old Preferment ($3.50) and Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Cup placegetter from October Our Ivanhowe ($4) out to improve on a fifth in the same lead-up at Flemington on March 12.
Montaigne meanwhile is at $10 in an open The BMW betting market currently, a price that will firm should Cummings pay the final acceptance on Wednesday morning.
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