By Ray Hickson
James Cummings has nominated Group 1 winning filly Flit for just about everything during the autumn carnival and he’s not ruling out a first-up win at Randwick on Saturday.
Godolphin has a strong representation in the Group 2 $200,000 TAB Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) through a trio of Group 1 winners – Flit, Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi and the Anthony Freedman-trained Lyre.
The Light Fingers launched the star Godolphin mare Alizee to Group 1 glory two seasons ago and Cummings said Flit has developed to his liking in her summer spell.
“She might just be a tougher filly this time around,’’ Cummings said.
“She’ll certainly be better for this first-up run, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if she could win.
“Needless to say, she’s going to get better when she gets up to the mile.”
Flit’s immediate Group 1 target is likely the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in two weeks and she’s been nominated for everything during The Championships from the TJ Smith Stakes at 1200m to the Australian Oaks at 2400m.
The Thousand Guineas winner hasn’t raced since she finished fourth in the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and warmed up in a 900m trial last month running fourth behind Kiamichi.
She’s yet to prove herself on a heavy track but Cummings said this is a starting point while for Kiamichi it presents a prime opportunity to post her first win since the Slipper.
Kiamichi, a superior wet tracker, was due to resume in the Expressway Stakes two weeks ago then Cummings changed tack favouring the Group 3 Eskimo Prince which fell to the washout last Saturday so it’s third time lucky at Randwick.
“The weather has forced us to postpone her return twice, so it will be good to finally get her back to the races,’’ he said.
“Both her trials have been encouraging, she won the latest one in good style and she gets the going she prefers.”
Blue Diamond winner Lyre rounds put the Godolphin trio and assistant trainer Sam Freedman said the filly is a different horse to the one who was winless in the spring.
She ran third in the Golden Slipper behind Kiamichi but recorded only one placing in four starts last campaign ending with a fourth behind Flit in the Thousand Guineas.
“She’s done very well and seems to be back to her old self,’’ Freedman said.
“She never looked great in the spring, her coat never really came through.
“But she’s looking much better, her trials have been better and we’re looking forward to her showing her two-year-old form.”
Kiamichi is the shortest of the Godolphin fillies with TAB at $4.80 ahead of Flit at $5 and Lyre at $7.50.
Kiamichi wins a trial at Rosehill, with Flit fourth, on January 28
As for Alizee, the mare the Godolphin girls are out to emulate, Cummings said there is no guarantee she will take her place in the Group 2 $250,000 Aquis Apollo Stakes (1400m).
Alizee, $2.90 favourite with TAB, started odds-on when she chased smart colt Stanbdout home in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago but the likely heavy ground weighs on Cummings’ mind.
“She motored home stylishly in the Expressway behind a very promising three-year-old,’’ he said.
“At this stage it doesn’t seem likely that she’ll get the track she prefers at Randwick and might be kept for the Futurity.”
The Randwick meeting serves as a kick off point for several of the Cummings carnival hopefuls including Cascadian in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) with the trainer saying he believes the import has now acclimatised.
While noted wet trackers Pohutukawa and Resin tackle the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) and Cummings expects both to be very competitive.