Trainer James Cummings has revealed that exciting colt Eurozone could return to the races in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Eurozone performed strongly in a jump out at Flemington this morning, with leading jockey Damien Oliver on board, and Cummings told Sky Racing HQ that the son of Northern Meteor was on track to return to the races at Caulfield next Saturday.
The Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) was the expected first-up target for Eurozone, but Cummings let slip that there is a chance the three-year-old could make his debut at weight-for-age level in the Orr Stakes.
“Eurozone got back in his trial and hit the line hard to run second,” Cummings said.
“We are very pleased with his effort and he pulled up very clean in the wind.
“He will be very fit for his first-up run and I think that he is forward enough to win first-up.
“It will be at Caulfield and it will be over 1400.
“We have told Mark Van Triet to keep Damien Oliver open for both races.”
Eurozone has not been seen at the races since he recorded a narrow win over Criterion in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 28 at the end of his lengthy first preparation.
Eurozone made his racing debut with a narrow win over Suit in the Become An ATC Sponsor Plate (1100m) at Canterbury on June 19 and he made it two wins from as many starts when he took out the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight later.
He made his black type racing debut with a win in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 10 and suffered his first defeat when stepping up in class to contest the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 31.
Eurozone was far from disgraced when sixth behind Zoustar in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehull Gardens on September 14 before finishing his campaign with his Stan Fox Stakes victory.
Bart Cummings, who now trains in partnership with grandson James, will be chasing his third win in the Orr Stakes after previously winning the race with Leilani (1975), Let’s Elope (1992) and Saintly (1996).