Trainer James Cummings is dreaming of a fairytale end to the racing career of Precedence when he saddles up the ten year old in the Listed $150,000 Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown on Saturday.
For the dream to come true Precedence has to go out a winner so Cummings has engaged Michelle Payne who’s dream did come true when she won the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the Darren Weir trained $101 outsider Prince Of Penzance.
Cummings is hoping that some of the Michelle Payne magic will rub off on to Precedence, but he knows the old warhorse has a lot of ground to make up.
“I think it was just meant to be that Michelle rides him in his last race. My grandfather Bart loved her and he gave her her first Group 1 winner and also her first Melbourne Cup ride,” Cummings told the Herald Sun
“It’s every sportsperson’s dream of going out on a winning note but, other than Makybe Diva, it rarely happens. I’ll be holding on to hope.”
Precedence has been rated as one of the outsiders of the Sandown Cup field at $51 with Ladbrokes.com.au but Cummings said that the 3200m will suit him even though his recent form has been ordinary.
“He’s fifth-up, he gets back to two miles, he loves Sandown and he’s working well,” Cummings said.
“Also, the form from the Moonee Valley Cup has held up with the Melbourne Cup winner coming from that race.”
Precedence was always near the tail of the field at his latest run when ninth to The United States in the Group 2 $250,000 Melbourne Signage Concepts Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
But his previous run in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 4 was his best effort over the Spring Carnival from four outings.
Precedence has been out of the winner’s circle for two years after scoring back to back wins with victories in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington during the 2013 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Zabeel ten year old will also be remembered for competing in four Melbourne Cups for a sixth in 2014, ninth in 2012, 11th in 2011 and eighth in 2010.
“Training with my grandfather, he gave me my first Melbourne Cup runner and he also won the Moonee Valley Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes for us,” Cummings said.
If you fancy a bet on the Zipping Classic at Sandown on Saturday, you can get over the odds if you take advantage of Ladbrokes Zipping Classic Special Offer. Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Zipping Classic, which means an additional 20% on your winnings up to a maximum bet of $50.
Cummings has organised Precedence to be retrained and work on the show horse circuit, joining other Bart Cummings trained retirees Sirmione and Moatize.
The top of the market for the Sandown Cup is very congested with the Lindsay Park trained Almoonqith and the Danny O’Brien trained De Little Engine heading the betting at $5 a piece just in front of Gai Waterhouse’s The Offer and Chris Waller’s Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshall at $5.50.
Sandown Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Almoonqith, De Little Engine, $5.50 The Offer, Grand Marshall, $8 Maygrove, $14 Like A Carousel, $16 Tremec, $19 Sasenkile, $21 Renew, $26 Manalapan, Pop ‘N’ Scotch, $51 Precedence, $61 Planet Purple, $101 Refectory.