Trainer James Cummings is hopeful that talented colt Eurozone can save his stables spring when he contests the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The new training partnership of James and his grandfather Bart Cummings looked on track for the a big 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but after Eurozone suffered a disappointing defeat in Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and classy mare Norzita had her Cox Plate campaign ended by a soft tissue injury, they now look like heading into the major races without a Group 1 contender.
Eurozone was not a factor in the finish of The Run To The Rose, despite being well-backed in the lead-up to the race, and has been a significant drifter in Golden Rose betting markets.
Cummings believes the three-year-old had plenty of excuses for the lackluster effort and is excited to see how he goes against Group 1 company for the first time this weekend.
“He’s certainly going to get a much better run than the one he had in the Run To The Rose from the soft draw,” Cummings told AAP.
“I know with our horse that we will get every opportunity to walk away with a better idea of whether he is up to them.”
Young jockey Josh Parr will ride Eurozone for the first time after regular jockey Hugh Bowman picked up the ride on Golden Rose favourite Prince Harada.
Melbourne-based horses Prince Harada and Fast ‘N’ Rocking have been the best backed horses in the last twenty-four hour but Cummings believes it is difficult to compare the Sydney and Melbourne three-year-old form lines.
“The boom is on this Melbourne horse and it provides plenty of interest for the race,” Cummings said.
“I’ve never laid eyes on him so it’s hard for me to form a solid opinion.”
Cummings is looking to emulate his father Anthony who won the Golden Rose with Duporth in 2008.