James Cummings will give Hugh Bowman the final say on riding tactics for Eurozone when he lines up in the Group 3 $125,000 MTA NSW Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Eurozone has drawn awkwardly at barrier nine in the fourteen horse field and Bowman will have to decide in the first 150m if he is going to push forward or take a sit behind the pace.
“I think it will be an important tactical race and a pretty good guide to how the Golden Rose will shape up,” James Cummings, who trains in partnership with his famous grandfather Bart, told the Sportsman.
“He’s got versatility and with speed from the gates it gives him options for what he can do from barrier nine.”
Cummings rates this year’s version of the the Run To The Rose with no Group 1 winners slightly inferior to last year’s which saw the mighty Pierro take out the race at his first run back after taking out the two year old Triple Crown in the Autumn.
And last year’s race also had future Group 1 winners Your Song, Epaulette and All Too Hard finishing behind Pierro.
“There’s no Group 1 winner, sometimes the Slipper winner is in there or one of those two year old Group 1 winners,” Cummings said.
But Cummings still considers it to be a tough contest in the lead up to the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes(1400m) at Rosehill on September 14 and knows that Eurozone will have to make the extra step up if he is to be in the finish.
“I think he is still improving and I don’t think we have got to the bottom of him yet,” Cummings said.
“This race is pretty strong and it is like a 1200m version of the Golden Rose.”
Eurozone is the winner of three from three and Bowman took up the running last start when a comfortable winner in the Listed $100,000 The Rosebud (1200m) at Randwick on August 10 but he doesn’t have to lead as he showed in his two previous wins.
Even with his excellent record, Eurozone is at the good odds of $7 with the Peter Snowden trained Sidestep with the blinkers back on the early favourite at $4.40 just ahead of Chris Waller’s Zoustar at $4.80.
At his first run back this campaign, Tommy Berry had trouble getting into the clear on Sidestep who wound up in fourth spot behind Va Pensiero in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill two weeks ago.
And Waller’s Northern Meteor three year old Zoustar is having his first start since running second to Romantic Touch in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.