The Victoria Derby was expected to be the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for exciting stayer Drago but trainer Anthony Cummings revealed today that the rising three-year-old will be entered for a number of other major races throughout the spring.
Drago is set to begin his Group 1 campaign in the Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13th and could go on to contest the Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and Cox Plate (2040m) on his way to the Victoria Derby (2500m).
Cummings said that the Drago’s performance in the Golden Rose will decide his spring carnival path but based on the Danehill Dancer colts current form believes the ambitious Cox Plate path is a genuine possibility.
“The plan is to start first-up in the Golden Rose and the races in the interim will be determined by how he’s going and what fits in with the decisions that we make,” Cummings told Racing Victoria.
“The Golden Rose is the main three-year-old race here and he’ll be in that and then we’ve got some choices to make going forward.
“He’ll be nominated for the Cox Plate, he’ll be nominated for the Derby and the Spring Champion, but we’ll just let his program unfold as it does.
“The way he’s come back, though, makes all of those nominations worthwhile.”
Drago had an impressive four race juvenile campaign and improved significantly as he climbed in distance.
He made his debut when finishing sixth in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m), finished fourth in the Group 1 double of the Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m) before breaking his maiden with a dominant four length victory in the Juvenile Stayers Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill in May.
Drago will be Cummings’ leading contender this spring after stable star Fiveandahalfstar was ruled out of the entire 2013 Spring Racing Carnival yesterday.