Sydney horseman James Cummings is unsure how his youngster Good Standing will go over the VRC Derby 2016 distance this Melbourne Cup Carnival and may only accept for stablemate Prized Icon in the October 29 classic.
Both Good Standing and Prized Icon are nominated for the $500,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) this weekend on Caulfield Cup Day as well as the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Cummings is set to accept Artie Schiller colt for the 2016 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic this weekend after the progressive galloper’s strong mid-field seventh to Divine Prophet at the track in last Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“He has been set to run in the race fifth-up all campaign,” Cummings told Racing Victoria trackside from Flemington on Tuesday morning.
“I want to give him the opportunity to run out to 2000m and he has come through the Guineas bright and sound and his run there was very good, only beaten two-and-a-quarter lengths.”
Blake Shinn will ride Good Standing on Saturday taking over for Hugh Bowman who will be aboard Ladbrokes Classic rival Wine Bush for Chris Waller.
Prized Icon also ran last weekend, the More Than Ready colt crossing third under a length off the history-making winning filly Yankee Rose in Sydney’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Winner of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) as a juvenile in the autumn, Prized Icon is likely to bypass the Ladbrokes Classic on the quick back-up and be saved for a Cox Plate Day run Saturday week in the $200,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
“Prized Icon arrives in Melbourne tomorrow [Wednesday] morning though at this stage unless we change our minds, the plan is to run that colt in the Vase,” Cummings confirmed.
“He has come through an excellent run in the Spring Champion Stakes really well so we are pleased with him going forward.”
That would give him only a week between the Vase and the Victoria Derby, which Prized Icon currently pays $11 in the pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
Good Standing is just further down the futures Victoria Derby betting markets at $13, but Cummings will wait and see how he runs this weekend before confirming plans to extend him out over the extra metres.
“I’m likely to only run one of them in the Derby but we will wait and see what happens in their ensuing starts and they will tell us,” he said.
“I was eager to see Good Standing out to 2000m this prep whereas as I think Prized Icon is tough and seasoned and he would love getting out to the Derby trip.
“Importantly he has had the prep too so he would have that strength on his side.”
Last year’s Victoria Derby winner Tarzino backed up from a third in the Moonee Valley Vase, while the double was last completed by Efficient (2006) a decade ago.
Cummings is yet to saddle-up a VRC Derby champ, but his father Anthony Cummings scored the upset in 2012 with Fiveandahalfstar (40/1).
His late, great grandfather and former co-trainer during the later stages of his career Bart Cummings also won the race in recent times with Omnicorp (1987) and Bounty Hawk (1983).
To back your early VRC Derby 2016 betting selections before markets firm with the release of the final field on October 26 make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.