Co-trainer James Cummings has revealed that Precedence could head to the spelling paddock after he returns to racing in the 2015 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Precedence has not been seen at the races since he finished an impressive sixth behind Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 last year, but he has been given three barrier trials starts in order to get him ready for the start of another racing preparation.
Cummings told Sky Racing HQ that he has been impressed with the barrier trial performances of Precedence and believes that the nine-year-old is ready to run well in the Hollindale Stakes, but at this stage he plans to send the veteran stayer straight back to the spelling paddock in order to give him a break before he starts another Melbourne Cup campaign.
“He is in there, he ran third first-up in this race last preparation,” Cummings said.
“We have had to give him three trials this preparation and we haven’t been able to convince the clubs to give us a mile or 1600 metre in New South Wales unfortunately, but he has had three good six furlong trials and he has the look of a horse that is ready to campaign well.
“We are going to restrict and keep him very lightly-raced until the spring.
“It could possibly only be one and it may only be in the Hollindale this weekend.
“We couldn’t resist the urge to put a nomination in the Doomben Cup, but we will just wait and see what happens and more than likely we would be happy even with a good run first-up to put him away and focus on the spring.”
Precedence made his racing debut September of 2008 and he has been a consistent performer at Group level without breaking through for a win at the highest level of racing.
The Zabeel gelding has competed in the Melbourne Cup on four occasions, finishing in the top ten in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and the Cummings stable are hopeful that the tough galloper run in ‘the race that stops a nation’ for the fifth time during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Precedence has not recorded a race win since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington, but he was placed in the Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) last year before his gallant effort in the Melbourne Cup.