Team Cummings will roll the dice and hope that natural attrition gets Precedence into the 2013 Melbourne Cup after they elected not to include the veteran stayer in the final acceptances for either the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) or Group 1 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
Precedence won the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) in impressive fashion at Moonee Valley on Saturday but was only awarded a weight penalty of 1kg by Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter, which was not enough to secure the eight-year-old a start in the Melbourne Cup field.
The Zabeel gelding is now at number 29 on the 2013 Melbourne Cup order of entry and will require at least five horses above him to be ruled out of the race to be any chance of giving Bart Cummings his 88th runner in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Co-trainer James Cummings said that not running Precedence on Victoria Derby Day gave the gelding the best chance to be successful in the Melbourne Cup and the rising trainer is desperately hoping that his patience pays off.
“Patience has been a key ingredient of Bart’s training career and we have decided that is what we need with Precedence,” James Cummings told TVN.
“We could have run on Saturday and tried to force a run in the Melbourne Cup but if we did, we wouldn’t have given the horse the best chance of winning on Tuesday.
“It is a tough decision because of the outside pressure, we would love to run in the Melbourne Cup but at the end of the day we have to think about the horse.”
If Precedence does earn a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field he will be having his fourth straight start in the historic race.
He has raced consistently in all three of his previous Melbourne Cup appearances without looking like the winner; finishing an unlucky eighth behind Americain in 2010, 12th behind Dunaden in 2011 and a tough ninth behind Green Moon in last year’s race.
Cummings said that Precedence would push on to the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day if he fails to qualify for the Melbourne Cup and believes the tough stayer would be tough to beat in the $300,000 race.
“It gives us a plan B and it is not a bad carrot either,” Cummings said.