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The James Cummings trained Sanctioned has to brush aside a distance query and the outside barrier if he is to breakthrough for a Spring Carnival Group 1 win in the $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Ace High, above, heads up the field for the 2017 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Ace High, above, heads up the field for the 2017 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Sanctioned has finished second at his last three starts, his latest to the David Payne trained Ace High who he is up against again in the Spring Champion Stakes and has drawn the outside gate in the ten horse field with Kerrin McEvoy taking over from Hugh Bowman.

The Teofilo three year old was outstayed by the front running Ace High in the Group 3 $200,000 James Boag’s Premium Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 23 and Cummings is hoping the colt can find something extra this week.

“Of course, if he’d gone past Gold Standard or Ace High who have beaten him in his last two, then there would have been no concerns about the distance,” Cummings said.

“But he bumped into two colts who are really flying, so I didn’t walk away too disappointed from those races.”

“He’s just going ahead in his own time and if he happens to produce his best performance here, fourth up and in a Group One I’d be delighted.

“I think he has the chance to dispel all of those queries. In five starts to date he’s not shirked the task once. He’s finished in the placings every time.”

Cummings will also saddle up Astoria in the Spring Champion Stakes who also drew wide at barrier eight with Glyn Schofield replacing Josh Parr who was aboard the Medaglia D’Oro colt last start when fifth in the Gloaming Stakes.

Cummings is expecting a better performance from Astoria who has trained on extremely well since the Gloaming Stakes.

“Astoria switched off last start on the seven-day back up after having an easy week leading into the Gloaming,” Cummings said.

“He has responded to a better preparation for this race and appears to have gone to another level with the re-application of a set of winkers to keep him focused. His energy levels are right back up and he’s got a better opportunity of getting back to his best.”

Ace High fared much better in the barrier draw than the two Godolphin colts and will jump from gate four with Gloaming Stakes winning jockey Tye Angland in the saddle again.

Angland will have no problem finding the front again if he wants to repeat his front running performance that saw Ace High lead all of the way to win the Gloaming Stakes.

Gloaming Stakes third placegetter Coral Coast and fourth placed Sully are also going around in the Spring Champion Stakes.

Caulfield based colt Coral Coast has drawn midfield at barrier six with Tim Clark replacing Brenton Avdulla who will be aboard the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Sully from barrier nine.

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will only have one runner in the Spring Champion Stakes, Tangled (Blake Shinn, barrier 2) while John O’Shea will saddle up Langley for Christian Reith from gate seven.

Final field for the 2017 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m)

# Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 65564×1551 ACE HIGH David Payne Tye Angland 4 56.5kg 82
2 120×315 ASTORIA James Cummings Glyn Schofield 8 56.5kg 77
3 4x51100x94 TANGLED Chris Waller Blake Shinn 2 56.5kg 80
4 31×322 SANCTIONED James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 10 56.5kg 78
5 167×64868 COLESBERG David Payne Jason Collett 3 56.5kg 66
6 62×3662 DISSOLUTION Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Sam Clipperton 1 56.5kg
7 23×114 SULLY (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Brenton Avdulla 9 56.5kg 67
8 4215 LANGLEY John O’Shea Christian Reith 7 56.5kg 64
9 45231 SURPRISE BULLET Barry Lockwood Larry Cassidy 5 56.5kg 62
10 7413 CORAL COAST Stuart Webb Tim Clark 6 54.5kg 71

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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