Co-trainer James Cummings is confident that Hallowed Crown has made the progression needed to win the 2015 Royal Randwick Guineas in Sydney this weekend.
Hallowed Crown stamped himself as a leading contender for the Royal Randwick Guineas when he defeated the likes of Sweynesse and Shooting To Win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, but Cummings believes that Hallowed Crown will need to improve on that effort in order to record a second win at Group 1 level in the 2015 Royal Randwick Guineas.
“I think that given the bunched finish between the first seven or eight horses, the critical factor going forward will be how those horses progress from that race,” Cummings said.
“I know that the whole stable is very comfortable with where the horse is at, he has had a very good two weeks and he will hopefully have made the progression required to rate well enough to win one of the strongest Randwick Guineas we have seen for a long time.
“He is a very casual track worker and he works well within himself, but I took him to Rosehill on Saturday morning and gave him a gallop there.
“He looked very laidback as normal at Rosehill, but I think that he really enjoyed the trip away.
“He looks particularly well and he has shed a little less than five kilograms heading into this run.”
A small field of only seven gallopers will contest the 2015 Royal Randwick Guineas this weekend and the tactical battle between the leading jockeys in Sydney could be key to deciding the outcome of the race.
Talented hoop Hugh Bowman has developed a strong association with Hallowed Crown after steering him to victory in both the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and the Hobartville Stakes and Cummings is confident that Bowman will give his star galloper every possible chance in the Royal Randwick Guineas.
“I think that I have the right jockey on to be unfazed by the daunting task of what tactics might unfold during the race,” Bowman said.
“We all understand that when these fields do get small things can happen and you have to be acutely aware of where your opposition are and what is going to unfold from where you are at that time.
“I am sure that Hugh will see it the same way as I do and we can’t get caught up in all of that.
“He just absolutely has to have confidence in what he has underneath him and I am easy in the idea that Hugh is very confident in the horse.
“I think that the horse has proved that there is not many things that he can’t do and I would never say never.
“It is shaping as a very entertaining battle between five horses that are rated over 100 with their benchmarks and three Group 1 winners.”
Hallowed Crown ($3.20) remains locked in a battle for favouritism with Shooting To Win ($3.20) with Ladbrokes Australia, while there has been a sprinkling of support for Scissor Kick ($5).