The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Melbourne’s Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) could be on the cards for the Godolphin-raced veteran Cascadian who best handled a Heavy Randwick track to produce a big three-length 2022 Hill Stakes victory over Numerian and the beaten favourite Montefilia.
The James Cummings-trained stalwart added another feature race victory to his record at his 41st start presenting fit third-up in the Group 2 $1 million Hill Stakes (2000m).
Returning to Randwick for the first time since his Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) win back in April, the baldy-faced eight-year-old got conditions to suit coming late and running through the line well over the 2000m.
Exposed early on the straight by jockey James McDonald, Cascadian got out into clear air and grinded home after ducking back to the inside and passing the front-running Numerian who held on to run second.
“James rode him to get the 2000, didn’t panic, trusted the horse. He had a lot of horse coming to the corner and had the right horse to drag him into the race and got back onto the nicer ground in the home straight. Good, solid performance from a very honest, worthy galloper,” Cummings told the media post-win.
Montefilia was favourite in the Hill Stakes second-up, but David Payne’s Spring Cups-bound mare was flat on the home straight plodding into a disappointing third after failing to find another gear when needed.
“He’s been brilliant in big fields over shorter distances so he’s had to ruck through the middle of them. But today, small field and the great turn of foot that he’s got, he’s very adaptable,” Cascadian’s jockey McDonald said.
“He’s very much in the mold of the old Hartnells of the world. They just turn up and perform where horses get up to a level but can’t hold it, well they hold it. Great performance.”
On this day last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival Cascadian was fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) before heading south for a third in Flemington’s Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) and second in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) behind Zaaki during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Cummings confirmed a likely next-up start in a fortnight in the Group 3 $750,000 Craven Plate (1800m) before potentially stepping back up to 2000m for a Cox Plate bid at Moonee Valley on October 23.
“There are some nice races for him. James said there’s the Craven Plate for him next start, back to 1800. Both runs have been great. He came here a fresh horse,” he said.
No horse has completed the interstate Hill Stakes – Cox Plate double since Saintly (1996).
All-in 2022 Cox Plate odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au have Cascadian at $26 to be the next.
Markets are led by the George Main Stakes winner Anamoe ($3.30) and last weekend’s impressive all-the-way Underwood Stakes champion Alligator Blood ($7).
Click here for the latest Cox Plate futures odds.
2022 Hill Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||James McDonald||6||59kg||$2.80|
|2||2||NUMERIAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Tommy Berry||3.24L||2||59kg||$5.50|
|3||8||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Jason Collett||5.28L||3||57kg||$2.20F|
|4||4||YONKERS (USA)||Chris Waller||William Pike||12.73L||1||59kg||$19|
|5||5||ELEPHANT (NZ)||Emma-Lee & David Browne||Hugh Bowman||22.26L||4||59kg||$20|
|6||7||KISS THE BRIDE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Dylan Gibbons (a)||26.45L||5||59kg||$20|
|3||STOCKMAN (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||0|
|6||LUNCIES (GB)||Kris Lees||Tim Clark||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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