Trainer Anthony Cummings has revealed that he is very pleased with the condition of Thunder Fantasy and is happy to take the risk of running the talented gelding in the 2014 Australian Cup at Flemington this weekend.
Cummings said yesterday that he was still unsure whether he would back Thunder Fantasy up in the Australian Cup on Saturday, following his impressive third in the Australian Guineas last Saturday, but told Sky Racing HQ that the Casino Prince gelding would definitely takes his place in the field after working strongly this morning.
“He is done really well; he has a great appetite and looks better and has certainly tightened up a bit on the run from on the weekend, which going into the mile and a quarter at that level he certainly needed to,” Cummings said.
“I was very pleased with his work this morning, his demeanor is good and he will cope with the back-up pretty easily I would say.”
The Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) were both possible 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival targets for Thunder Fantasy, but Cummings believes that contesting the Australian Cup locks the classy three-year-old into a tilt at the Derby.
Thunder Fantasy had no problems staying the trip in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and, based on his run in the Australian Guineas, Cummings believes the gelding is on the right track for the $2 million Australian Derby.
“That is one of the consideration of going to this race; it does push you to the Derby rather than leaving an option open for the Doncaster,” Cummings said.
“My view is that if he runs here, he most likely goes three weeks into the Rosehill Guineas and those two runs over a mile and a quarter puts you out of the mile I think.
“There is no hardship in that, but it is just a matter of keeping your options open, but I am pleased with the horse and happy to take the risk.
“He really hit the line really well (in the Australian Guineas) and the way he went about his work in that final furlong is probably what pushed me to the Derby as a real prospect for him.
“I think that we are heading in the right direction.”
Cummings is chasing his first Group 1 victory in Victoria since he took out the 2012 Victoria Derby with Fiveandahalfstar.