Unlucky to miss the final field of the 2013 edition of the Race That Stops a Nation when balloted out of contention in position 25, Team Cummings are confident of a competitive performance from Melbourne Cup betting outsider Precedence at Flemington on Tuesday.
Without doubt one of the most experienced runners confirmed for the country’s headlines thoroughbred horserace this year, Precedence has returned to racing in typically competitive form this year and will be lining up for his fourth attempt at winning in the Melbourne Cup after luckless tilts in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Aiming to become the first nine-year-old to find the line in Melbourne Cup line in the clear, co-trainer James Cummings is confident several recent form indicators surrounding Precedence will be key in a competitive performance in Race 7.
“He’s got form around Signoff, and he’s into second favourite for the race. Precedence is a benchmark horse, he’s run three times, he’s run a bit better than mid-field each time,” Cummings told Racing Victoria.
“If he can run top ten, I’m sure the owners will be very happy. More than that, the owners are just so appreciative that they have a horse who has been tough enough to have qualified for four Melbourne Cups.
“I think it would be deserving for him to produce a PB and finish top six in the Cup.
“Our input into the horse is nearly at its end. By Tuesday afternoon, it’s in the lap of the gods.”
Securing ten wins and as many minor places over his impressive 62 start career so far, Precedence won the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) leading into 2013 Melbourne Cup, and continued to a race win in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and sixth in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) after missing qualification.
Running a credible third behind champion mare Streama in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) first-up this year, the Zabeel gelding ran a close second to Zephyron in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) on May 24th before a luckless run for seventh when blocked for a run in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Given a brief freshen-up over July and August before returning to racing in the Listed Sofitel Open (1400m) on September 13th, Precedence firmed slightly in Melbourne Cup betting markets when finishing fifth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) just two weeks later and held firm when placing fifth in this year’s edition of the Moonee Valley Cup on October 25th.
Having his Melbourne Cup odds cut in and drift several times in the days leading up to Saturday’s final field and barrier draw confirmation, Precedence will wear the colours of Sir Patrick Hogan for the first time at Flemington on Tuesday.
Confirmed to leave from barrier 19 following this morning’s scratching of Sea Moon, Precedence is currently available at particularly generous odds of $101 for success in Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes Australia.