Trainer James Cummings is happy with the condition of Group 1 winning mare Norzita but is not confident she will be able to beat exciting sprinter Rebel Dane in the Group 3 Show County Quality(1300m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Norzita will be returning to the races for the first time since finishing third in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at the end of her successful 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival campaign that included her second Group 1 victory in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
The daughter of Thorne Park recorded a first-up victory in the Listed Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) at the start of her last preparation but Cummings told Racing Ahead this morning that the classy four-year-old will not be at peak racing fitness this weekend, despite returning well from the spelling paddock.
“She trialed well, she didn’t have the blinkers on but she will wear them first-up tomorrow like she did at Moonee Valley first-up last preparation,” Cummings said on RSN.
“She is in pretty good order but she will be improving throughout her preparation.
“It is fair to say that she was probably a little bit more forward that time (last preparation) and she is a couple of weeks away from really shredding her winter coat.
“She will be running a really good race and building towards something greater later in her preparation.”
The Show County Quality has drawn a strong field, with triple Group 1 winning mare Appearance as well as Queensland Guineas winner Sizzling among the acceptors, but Cummings believes that Rebel Dane is clearly the horse to beat.
“Rebel Dane put in an electric trial and obviously that horse is forward enough to be very hard to beat first-up,” the young trainer said.
“He is getting weight relief on her as well and we have our sights set on something further throughout her preparation.
“Hugh Bowman is confident that they will know she is in the race but whether she will get the tempo and get the right run from an awkward draw will be the challenge.”
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Norzita and she is expected to contest the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 21 after resuming on Saturday.