Trainer Anthony Cummings expects outsider Hierarchal to show massive improvement as he steps up in distance to the 2000m of the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Hierarchal will only be facing the starter for the third time in his short career and is coming off a win at his second race start in a 1600m BenchMark 60 at Kembla Grange on September 26.
Foremen Ed Cummings said that the stable could see major improvement in the High Chaparral colt from his two starts to date and can see the three year old running on strongly at the end of the 2000m.
“But certainly he’s got his fair share of ability and the improvement he showed from his debut into Kembla appears to have been replicated again going into this,” Ed Cummings told The Daily Telegraph.
“He’s been working well and showing all the signs that he’s ready to step up, but they’ve got reproduce that on raceday.
“Certainly, getting out to the 2000m is something he’ll relish and we feel the 2500m of the Derby will be even more to his liking.”
Hierarchal is being set for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31 and a promising performance on Saturday will book him a ticket to Melbourne for Derby Day.
“He’s still quite unfurnished and it’s important that he gets to the races at least twice more before the Derby,” Cummings said.
“After Saturday we’ll decide whether that’s the Norman Robinson or the 2040m race at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.”
Anthony Cummings has had success in both the Spring Champion Stakes and the Victoria Derby and knows what it takes to prepare a three year old for the Spring Carnival Group 1s.
Hotel Grand and Teranaba won the Spring Champion Stakes in in successive years in 2005 and 2006 and Fiveandahalfstar took out the 2012 Victoria Derby.
Cummings knows that Hierarchal is facing up against some seasoned three year old and bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have listed him as a $26 for the Spring Champion Stakes.
“There’s plenty of upside to the horse but the Spring Champion Stakes is a hard race to win and you generally want to be spot on for it. He’s got improvement to come but on raw ability he can figure in the race,” Cummings said.
“Whether there’s a slightly more seasoned horse that’s been aimed specifically at this race is the question.”
“I’m sure he’ll acquit himself well and take physical and mental improvement from it.”
The Chris Waller trained Vanbrugh heads the market order at $1.95 on the back of his win in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 26 with the Queensland trained Too Good To Refuse on the second line of betting at $4.80.
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Spring Champion Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.95 Vanbrugh, $4.80 Too Good To Refuse, $8.50 Tatoosh, $9.50 Man Of Choice, $15 Jadeer, $18 Devil Hawk, $19 Gold Ambition, $26 Hierarchal, $34 I’m Belucci, $41 Flying Achilles.