Trainer James Cummings has revealed that Eurozone is likely to have his next race start in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.
Eurozone made his debut at weight-for-age level in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday and flew home late to finish a narrow second behind Moment Of Change.
The Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 and a likely rematch with Moment Of Change is one possible option for Eurozone, but Cummings told Racing Ahead this morning that he believes the son of Northern Meteor will be better suited to the Australian Guineas a week later.
“He looks great and he looks really well,” Cummings said.
“The horse, as people would have noticed, was very forward for that and we had a single minded approach to trying to win first-up with him.
“We have no issue if we feel the best thing for the horse is going three weeks into the Australia Guineas and I think, at the minute, it is safe to say that is the way that we are leaning.
“The good thing about having a fit horse first-up is that the run doesn’t knock them about and if we can have him as good as he was then he is a top three hope in the Australian Guineas without a doubt.
“We will most likely nominate for the Futurity but I just think, and all my team agrees, that he is going to be better at Flemington once he gets to a big straight.
“I just think it is a nice race for him and it would be a nice race for his owners to win to increase his value.”
Eurozone showed a tremendous turn-of-foot to almost steal victory in the Orr Stakes and Cummings believes that acceleration will serve him well against horses his own age in the Australian Guineas, but admits it is hard to win weight-for-age races with a horse that is off the bit a long way from home.
“He has a great finish; he knows how to lower himself and find the line,” Cummings said.
“The way thing that I have always been taught is that in weight-for-age races if you are coming off the bit early it makes it very tough to win.
“Moment Of Change did a great job, I thought, controlling the tempo and being on the bridle until the furlong.
“He is just an awesome horse, to think that he has been so consistent over the years, and I was very proud of Eurozone’s effort to get so close to him.”
James Cummings is still chasing his first Group 1 win since officially entering into a training partnership with his grandfather Bart Cummings at the start of the 2013/2014 Australian racing season.
Eurozone ($9) is currently on the fourth line of Australian Guineas betting markets behind Bull Point ($6.50), Shamus Award ($8) and The Quarterback ($8).