Cummings still a chance with Melbourne Cup longshots

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 5th, 2012

Legendary trainer Bart Cummings will saddle up two longshots in this year’s Cup but still gives himself a very good chance of taking home his thirteenth Melbourne Cup trophy tomorrow.

Imported US stayer Sanagas is rated a $51 chance in the betting while Precedence, who will be going around in his third Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington is at the very juicy odds of $101.

Cummings will be going to Flemington as confident as ever and the Cups King’s two runners won’t be there just to make up the numbers.

“They might be big prices but I’m just as confident as ever. There is no use being any other way,” Cummings said.

”Someone has to win it and it may as well be me.”

Cummings doesn’t take much notice of the bookie’s boards and was there to lead in Viewed when he won the master trainer’s twelfth Melbourne Cup in 2008 after being sent out a $41 roughie.

‘I have done it before, you know,” Cummings said.

“I’m very happy with both of them.”

BC Thoroughbreds selected Cummings to prepare Sanagas for the Melbourne Cup  and with three runs under his belt the American stayer finally showed a glimpse of his ability when beaten less than five lengths in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 behind Dunaden.

Cummings is happy with the way Sanagas has pulled up after the Caulfield Cup and is thinking of the positives going into Australia’s greatest race tomorrow.

“He has got a good barrier and good rider in young Hall. He knows what he has to do,” Cummings said.

“The horse definitely stays, he has done it before over there and he can do again.”

Sanagasis a winner at Group 1 level at Hollywood Park in the US over 2400m in the $US100,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes on November 19,  last year and also won the start before over 2600m at Group 3 level at Keeneland.

And Cummings has been pleased with Precedence on the training tracks even though the seven year old has failed to reproduce it on race day since winning over 1600m at Moonee Valley four starts back.

”Precedence’s trackwork has been the best of his career. He is just a typical Zabeel and is getting better with age like us all,” Cummngs said.

One thing Cummings didn’t want to take the blame for was barrier twenty that Precedence will have to overcome if he is going to be in the money tomorrow and let part owner Sir Patrick Hogan take the credit.

“I didn’t go to the barrier draw but we left it to that Kiwi fellow. He unfortunately got the visitor draw in twenty. The times he has been running on the track have been great and the barrier won’t stop him if he is good enough.”

Hogan runs the famous Cambridge Stud in New Zealand and stands Zabeel who has already sired three Melbourne Cup winners in Might And Power (1997), Jezabeel (1998) and Efficient (2007) and the champion sire has a strong representative this year with Lights Of Heaven, Maluckyday and Zabeelionaire as well as Precedence.

2010 winner Americain heads the Melbourne Cup market at $6.50 with Dunaden and Mount Athos sharing the next line of betting at $7.50.

Last year’s runner-up Red Cadeaux is at $9.50 with Maluckyday at $14 and Galileo’s Choice at $16 while Green Moon and the Luca Cumani trained My Quest For Peace are at $17 with Lights Of Heaven the only other runner under the 20-1 mark at $19.

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