Bart Cummings didn’t enjoy the most prosperous period of training last season and he’s battling a fair bit of pressure leading into this spring.
Some are saying the Cup’s king may not even field a runner in Melbourne and many are betting against him to score even a single Group 1.
The race meeting at Newcastle today may be a fair way away from Flemington in October and November, but the Newcastle Cup could give his stable the early boost they need to really get things going.
They are relying on Tamanu Park in the event, a horse that until last start was given next to no chance of winning.
That all changed very quickly though as he won across 2000m at Rosehill with a commanding margin of nearly two lengths.
“He was suited by the strong tempo that day and he just sat on a rail,” James Cummings said.
He acknowledges it’ll be a steep jump in class for him today but says he’s in with just a good a hope of any of the others.
“I think it’s a pretty even bunch and you got to a race like that with plenty of horses thinking they’ve got a chance,” he said.
“I think he’s got the right sort of profile coming off a 2000m win at Rosehill…nice roomy track, he’ll sit just off the speed and run over the top of them.”
During that last run he put a huge gap between himself and Home On A Wing which is rated as a decent hope of winning today’s Newcastle Cup.
“There was reason to suggest Home On A Wing was unlucky that day but we did beat him six lengths,” Cummings said.