By Brad Gray
James Cummings believes there is an “air of confidence” about Alizee ahead of Saturday’s $500,000 G1 James Boag’s Premium Surround Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.
If the Godolphin filly was ever going to be vulnerable over the autumn, it was going to be first up in the Light Fingers Stakes, however, having won that, her rivals have a task of turning the tables and Cummings sees it that same way.
Alizee winning the Light Fingers Stakes first up
“Alizee looks in really good shape ahead of the Surround. She bounced out of the Light Fingers in good style, she’s feeling really good about herself and she seems to have come on again since the weekend,” Cummings enthused.
“Her fitness needs to go to another level to be competitive here over 1400m, particularly with the likelihood of a bit of rain around, but we couldn’t be more impressed with the way she’s gone about her preparation so far.”
The imposing daughter of Sepoy, who next has the G1 Coolmore Stud Classic (1500m) and then the G1 Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), over The Championships, in her sights, turned in a sharp piece of work at Osborne Park on Tuesday morning.
“There’s an air of confidence about her - she looks set to go,” Cummings said.
Speaking of confidence, Cummings expects Raiment to be fighting out the finish of the $200,000 G2 Proven Thoroughbreds Guy Walter Stakes (1400m).
“Raiment is going to love getting her toe into the ground this weekend. She’s back to the track and distance where she obliterated her rivals last April,” he said.
“She worked really strongly this week and looks like she’s gone ahead since an excellent first up run in the Triscay Stakes. If she could win a race like this then she puts herself up as a candidate for a race like the Coolmore at Group One level.”
Cummings says Couvre Lit has improved since impressing on debut at Warwick Farm, albeit in maiden grade.
“She bumps into some impressive fillies in a strong field,” Cummings said.
“The prospect of some rain could make things a bit interesting, but she just gives a good feeling about the way she’s trained on.”
Interlocuter, who like Alizee, is also nominated for The Star Doncaster Mile, launches his autumn in the $150,000 G3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) and Tye Angland maintains his association with the five-year-old.
“He looks in great shape. The 1300m might look too short but he was well supported first up last preparation and won,” said Cummings.
“He’s only had a short break so he’s retained some fitness and he stormed home beautifully in a barrier trial last week and he’s come on since then. He’s going to enjoy the sting out of the track and he’ll have the flashing lights on him over the concluding stages.”
Meanwhile, Encryption and Plague Stone are both back in Sydney after their Blue Diamond campaigns and will be seen again in the coming weeks.
“If both of them continue to do well in the next little while, you’ll see them step out in the next fortnight in an upcoming Sydney two-year-old event,” Cummings said.
TAB Fixed Odds have opened Alizee $2 for the Surround Stakes, while she is priced $15 for the Doncaster Mile.