Displaying a keen turn of foot to finish a credible fifth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) last weekend, Bart and James Cummings have revealed this weekend’s Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington may figure as an ideal ‘tune-up’ event for veteran stayer Precedence ahead of next week’s Melbourne Cup.
Securing a commendable race record of ten wins and as many minor places from his 63 competitive appearances on course so far, Precedence has contested three Melbourne Cups to date; finishing eighth in the 2010 edition of the Race that Stops a Nation most notably.
Pleased with the continually building form of the talented nine-year-old this time in, Bart Cummings said he is confident Precedence is close to a fourth Melbourne Cup berth this year and will take benefit from a final competitive hit-out on Saturday.
“Precedence is going all right for his age. I believe he is just about in the Melbourne Cup, so it would be good to have a runner again,” Cummings told the Daily Telegraph.
“We may nominate for the Mackinnon and as long as he’s OK in the next few days, we will head towards the Melbourne Cup,” James Cummings added.
Having taken out 12 Melbourne Cups so far, Bart Cummings said that while Precedence is sure to line up as a rank outsider, he is in competitive form and is more than a chance of figuring in contention.
“He is a sound horse, that’s the key. It’s hard to get them as sound as he is at his age,” Cummings added.
“He’s never done too much racing either; we’ve looked after him so that all helps.
“Although no nine-year-old has won it, there is always a first time. And what do they always say? You’ve got to be in it to win it.”
Returning to racing in typically competitive form this year, Precedence finished third behind champion mare Streama in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) first-up on May 3rd before running a close second in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse; returning to the paddock for a brief spell following a run for seventh in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on June 7th.
Running a luckless 12th in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) first-up this time and fifth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) prior to the Moonee Valley Cup, Precedence is currently available at generous odds of $81 for success in the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes Australia.