Co-trainer James Cummings has revealed that the 2015 The Bart Cummings will be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for veteran stayer Precedence.
The Bart Cummings was named after the legendary trainer in 2004, but will have added significance in 2015 after Racing Victoria and Victoria Racing Club revealed a fortnight ago that the race would now offer the winner ballot-exempt entry into the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Precedence was far from disgraced when he finished fifth in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on April 25 – his only race start during his winter campaign – and Cummings told Racing Ahead that the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 4 will be the perfect race for the rising ten-year-old.
“He is actually going terrific,” Cummings said.
“We had a little plan to be first-up in the Chelmsford at Randwick and if he is in good form we have an eye on The Bart Cummings to bring him down to Melbourne third-up for that race.
“I think that is really going to be his race and it would create an exemption to the Melbourne Cup.
“I think that he will really relish that distance at Flemington and I get the feeling that he has some good racing in front of him this preparation.
“Even if this was to be his last, I think that he could certainly go out with a bang.”
Bart Cummings has been a critic of the large number of international horses that are granted a place in the Melbourne Cup field and he feels that local horses are not given the same opportunity to earn a spot in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The ballot-exemption offered to the winner of The Bart Cummings will likely mean that another locally-trained galloper will contest the Melbourne Cup and James Cummings said that his famous Grandfather was thrilled that the race named in his honor had been granted this status.
“He has been a long-time advocate of creating a race like that that can ensure an exemption into the Melbourne Cup and he has now got his wish, so he has been determined to find a horse good enough to win it,” Cummings said.
“That is why we have a very single-minded approach with Precedence to try and get the job done with him.
“I suspect that he is very honored, he understands the steps taken and he appreciates the difficulty in doing that.
“You have to give plenty of credit to the VRC and Racing Victoria for initiating it.”
If Precedence contests the 2015 Melbourne Cup, it will be his fifth tilt at the Group 1 event after finishing sixth in 2014, ninth in 2012, 11th in 2011 and eighth in 2010.