Drago will get his first chance over a staying trip this preparation in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow and trainer Anthony Cummings is confident that the impressive colt can return to the winners circle.
Drago started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing second behind War in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) before finishing ninth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) with a run that indicated he will relish the step up to 1800 metres this weekend.
The Danehill Dancer colt worked home fairly in the $1 million race but Cummings told Racing Ahead that he believes the three-year-old would have finished a lot closer to the winner if he was ridden a bit quieter towards the tail of the field.
“We didn’t expect the early speed in that race that eventuated,” Cummings said.
“We wanted to be a little bit closer but at the end of the day it would have been better if we elected to fall out and let him find his feet before hitting the line; like Bull Point and the winner did.
“Having done a bit of work early it took away from his finish but he still finished with the best horses in the race other than the placegetters.”
Cummings revealed that the plan is to ride Drago quieter in the Gloaming Stakes and the Randwick-based trainer is confident that the classy colt will be finishing very strongly in the final stages of the race.
“He hasn’t got that much gate speed so he is going to be second half of the field,” Cummings said.
“His finished speed is amongst the best of the three-year-olds running around right now.
“He is going to be very effective at the trip.
“He has won the one race over 1800 at this track so I would expect back at the scene of the crime that he will run very well again.”
Drago remains on track to contest the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 before heading to Melbourne for a crack at the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2.
Cummings is chasing his second win in the Gloaming Stakes after winning the race with Strike The Stars in 2011.