By Ray Hickson
He's the forgotten horse of Godolphin's outstanding two-year-old crop of last season and trainer James Cummings is still hopeful Tassort can realise his potential in 2020.
The colt created a huge impression winning the Golden Gift by five lengths in November 2018 but hasn’t been seen since he finished runner-up to Time To Reign in the Silver Slipper last February.
Cummings said Tassort missed the autumn, where he was an early Golden Slipper favourite, and the spring with a throat issue but is working up to a return with a trial pencilled in for early February.
“He'll be a very interesting horse for us if he gets to that level we think he is and doesn't have any more setbacks because he's had a couple of those,’’ he said.
“So we're going to have to be patient with him but we're happy at the moment so that's a good sign.’’
Tassort's impressive debut win at Rosehill in November 2018
Obviously Godolphin still cut a swathe through the major two-year-old races in 2018-19 but it is the spring just past that Cummings feels is the lost opportunity.
That’s a sign of the esteem he holds Tassort considering the deeds of their colt Bivouac in the spring.
“In one respect it was probably more the spring three-year-old season that could have been his,’’ he said.
“He's better on top of the ground and the tracks in the autumn were wet.’’
Tassort isn’t the only Godolphin talent on the comeback trail with Group 1 winner Kementari’s well documented potential return to racing looming after a failed stud career.
The five-year-old, who downed Pierata and Trapeze Artist to win the Randwick Guineas in 2018, has been gelded and is currently at Osborne Park.
Cummings said he’s not getting ahead of himself yet with Kementari and it probably won’t be until March before he’s close enough to racing condition to be tested.
“To my eye it's not unreasonable that he'd be ready to trial in a couple of months,’’ he said.
“He hasn't let down so heavily that it would be a burden for us to get him fit. We will run the horse if he is looking competitive and happy to be there.
“At the moment he's bucking and squealing out at Osborne Park and feeling pretty good about being back.’’
James Cummings updates on some of Godolphin’s stars:
Bivouac: “He'll be ready to trial within a month. Unfortunately you won't see him too much here early on in the piece, he'll kick off in Melbourne where all the good sprints are at the start of the year.’’
Avilius: “He can be brought along the weight-for-age path, the horse is looking particularly good and he will be ready to step out in a trial next month and maybe even kick off first-up next month.’’
Flit: “I think we will kick her off in the Light Fingers (February 15) and she'll be on target for lots of nice options for her as a three-year-old filly with a Group 1 winning record.’’
Microphone: “It's important for us to keep him up and keep him fit because he relishes the training and the racing. He needs that if we are going to get him back up to a good level before he goes to stud. If he pleases the guys in Melbourne in the next couple of weeks he might run in the Kensington Stakes.’’
Alizee: “She's back and probably within a month of a trial.’’
Osborne Bulls: “We'll have a look at him in the next few weeks to make sure he is right to return. We haven't set any plans with him yet because there’s no pressure on him, he wouldn’t want to be bumping into Bivouac and Microphone at this stage.’’
Two-year-olds: “We are hoping to defend the Magic Millions, we have Conceited in the race this week. There are some nice horses coming through like Beyliks, top three in the Breeders' Plate is usually a sign you have a capable horse on your hands.
“Destination is back in training. I like Damaged, it was certainly a smart horse to be defeated by in Return With Honour, and they will find their level in the next five or six weeks.’’