Cummings Tossing Up Australian Cup Start For Thunder Fantasy

By: Thomas Hackett
March 4th, 2014

Anthony Cummings is yet to decide whether Thunder Fantasy will contest the 2014 Australian Cup at Flemington on Saturday; with the leading trainer worried that a start in the Group 1 event will jeopardize the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign of the talented colt.

Thunder Fantasy is currently on the third line of 2014 Australian Cup betting markets, but is no certainty to contest the race.

Thunder Fantasy is currently on the third line of 2014 Australian Cup betting markets, but is no certainty to contest the race. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Thunder Fantasy stamped himself as a leading contender for the Australian Cup (2000m) with a fast-finishing third behind Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) last Saturday, but Cummings revealed that he may save the three-year-old for a crack at races like the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 29 and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) or Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.

“The Championships are the main aim and there are two possibilities there; one is the Derby and the other is the Doncaster,” Cummings told AAP.

“Running in the Australian Cup makes it much tougher, and almost rules out the Doncaster.

“He may not run there anyway, but it’s still a live option now.

“We’ve just got to have a think and see how he presents on Wednesday morning which is pay-up day.”

Thunder Fantasy performed inconsistently during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing fifth in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 and ninth in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the same venue a week later before finishing a surprise third in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), but has performed well in his two starts since returning from a stint in the spelling paddock.

The son of Lucky Owners travelled just off the pace before showing an impressive turn of pace to record his maiden victory at Group level in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 and finished well despite being caught wide in the Australian Guineas last weekend.

Cummings was narrowly denied a win in the 2013 Australian Cup when Fiveandahalfstar was caught on the line by Super Cool, while Casino Prince finished third behind Sirmione and Princess Coup in the 2008 edition of the race.

Thunder Fantasy ($8) is currently on the third line of 2014 Australian Cup betting markets; with Fiorente ($2) currently a clear favorite from Shamus Award ($4.80).

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