Comeback king Jim Byrne is confident he can...
Only a week after earning his first Group 1 win on the same track, the James Cummings trained Avilius added another on Saturday claiming the Tancred Stakes (2400m) in impressive fashion at Rosehill.
Godolphin’s dominant run continued in what was a slow edition of the time-honoured race. Pace-setter Ventura Storm led a slop gallop over the journey, only for the race to turn into an all-out sprint down the straight, which of course suited Avilius’ explosive turn of foot.
With James McDonald on board this time, Avilius sat two wide at the turn before moving up into third. The pair then accelerated down the straight to win by a length, remaining unbeaten in Sydney with only one question remaining: what next?
“Regardless of the great week he’s had I looked at the horse this morning and I just felt like he was stronger, he was better than last week and it was going to take horrible bias or some sort of tragedy to happen to pull him up.
“He just swept to the lead beautifully in this weight for age race like a proper weight for age horse. What he was able to do there was demonstrate the natural speed and strength that he’s got” Cummings said after the race.
Avilius holds a nomination in next week fortnight’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), but for the time being, Cummings doesn’t plan to take on Winx anytime soon.
“More than likely we knew he’d be in the paddock after this. He still holds a nomination in the Queen Elizabeth but in my opinion I’ll put him in a paddock now. The preparation he’s had has been magnificent” Cummings went on to say.
Second place-getter Big Duke lapped up the heavy conditions, while second-elect Red Cardinal fell behind to run seventh.
Meanwhile, Avilius now joins Winx as the only two horses at single-digit odds for the Queen Elizabeth.
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