Racing: Cummings star ready to strike

Ocean Park (outer) has drawn well in the Randwick Guineas. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Ocean Park (outer) has drawn well in the Randwick Guineas. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Anthony Cummings is bullish about the prospects of Strike The Stars turning the tables on last-start conqueror Mosheen when they clash in Saturday's Randwick Guineas.

Mosheen had the measure of Strike The Stars in the Australian Guineas earlier this month when the pair ran one-two.

Both turned in outstanding runs, Mosheen bouncing back from her shock defeat in The Vanity to overcome the outside barrier and win while Strike The Stars rattled home from near the tail.

Cummings is adamant his charge will improve considerably fitness-wise for Saturday but has questioned whether Mosheen has the same scope.

"She was third-up [in the Australian Guineas] and she'd run out of condition at her previous start," Cummings said. "They'd been quite firm with her on the track to get her up to the mark for that race.

"You wonder, off that routine, how much improvement she might have back at a mile again, whereas, undoubtedly we will improve given the routine we had going into it."

Strike The Stars jumped to the 1600m of the Australian Guineas off the back of a first-up fifth to Rain Affair in the Expressway Stakes (1200m).

He got a long way back from a wide draw but with a better gate in seven on Saturday, Cummings anticipates him settling closer.

"It just means he is going to get a fair bit kinder run in the first part than he got last time," Cummings said.

"He's not going to have to give the start away that he gave last time."

Danny Nikolic was widely acclaimed for his navigational skills aboard Mosheen last start and he will need to call on them again at Randwick.

The only filly in the race, Mosheen has drawn barrier 14 of 17.

Manawanui is favourite with TAB Sportsbet at $2.80, despite an awkward alley in one, with Mosheen second at $4 and Strike The Stars on the fifth line of betting at $13.

Hugh Bowman partnered Strike The Stars to his biggest win in the Gloaming Stakes last spring and will reunite with the gelding.

Matamata galloper Ocean Park, to be ridden by Craig Williams, has drawn two.

Meanwhile, the Australian Turf Club will release another 800 tickets for Randwick Guineas Day today.

The track has a limited capacity for public spectators after the redevelopment of the course, meaning there will be no walk-up entry on raceday.

Overwhelming demand from the public has prompted the ATC to open an additional area to spectators, enabling them to release the extra tickets which are expected to sell out without 24 hours.

With a members' capacity of around 6500, the ATC is expecting a crowd of 10,000 for the Guineas.

* South of the border, Mike Moroney is hoping the decision to keep Sabrage at home this week and aim him for the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley will pay off tomorrow night.

The Flemington trainer had originally intended the Charge Forward colt to go to Sydney for Saturday's Randwick Guineas (1600m).

But he decided that the 2040m of the group two Alister Clark was the better option before he goes to Sydney for two group one races: the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31 and the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 14.

However, Moroney feels that the barrier eight draw in the 10-horse field has made his job that much harder.

"The barrier draw is a bit of a question. He's had no luck with barrier draws this time in," Moroney said.

A 1200m winner at Caulfield on a heavy track at his only start as a two-year-old last May, Sabrage won the Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m), beating Sangster and Niagara, at Caulfield last spring.

He was spelled after running third behind Sangster and Induna in the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.

He resumed with an eighth to That's The One in the group three CS Hayes Stakes (1410m) last month before running sixth to Mosheen in the Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 3, both at Flemington.

Among Sabrage's rivals are Sangster, Australian Guineas placegetter Mister Milton, Specter, Highly Recommended, Proliferate and I Feel Good.

- AAP

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