Trainer Anthony Cummings is confident that lightly-raced filly Wordplay can breakthrough for her first win at Group level in the Edward Manifold Stakes (1610m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Wordplay made her Group racing debut in the Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 18 and finished second behind Savvy Nature but Cummings told Racing Ahead that the Fastnet Rock filly’s performance was particularly impressive as she didn’t really handle the Newcastle surface.
“They have done a lot of work at Newcastle and it has all been good but there is still some work to go in terms of getting the surface as it should be,” Cummings said.
“It is a little bit undulating and that found her out.
“She has a wonderful big stride and found it difficult to get into any sort of rhythm; she chopped and changed stride a few times and got quiet uncomfortable and yet was still able to run second to Savvy Nature.”
Savvy Nature franked the form coming out of the Spring Stakes with a narrow second place finish behind Complacent in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on Saturday and Cummings is confident that Wordplay can go one better in the Edward Manifold Stakes this weekend.
“The form coming out of that will be very strong,” Cummings said.
“She is a very nice filly and goes into this race as a good chance.
“It is a great stepping stone for her into the Oaks in Flemington week.”
Wordplay has drawn barrier four and Cummings said that he will leave the riding plan up to regular jockey Peter Robl; depending on how much speed there is in the early stages of the race.
“It really matters what the others do around her,” Cummings said.
“She jumped quickly at Newcastle and could have raced handy but the way the raced panned out she was a bit midfield.
“She could be fourth one out or in the second half of the field; it really depends on the speed of the others.”
Cummings revealed that the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7 is the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for the three-year-old and believes she will have no problems running out the testing staying trip.
“It will run a mile and a half on her ear,” Cummings said.
Cummings is chasing his first ever win in the Edward Manifold Stakes.