By Ray Hickson
For every Group 1 winning three-year-old that has made the transition straight to open company as an older horse there’s plenty who don’t.
Godolphin mare Flit has been set the task by trainer James Cummings of making that leap and, if she does, emulating a former elite stablemate by winning the Group 2 $200,000 Iron Jack Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Alizee won the Missile last year, she was a star Group 1 winning three-year-old and won her first three starts at four including the Missile’s autumn equivalent, the Expressway Stakes, and Cummings said he believes Flit is up to it.
“There will be a fair amount of attention on her to see how she graduates from a Group 1-winning three-year-old to an open company performer,’’ Cummings said.
“She’s always had the look of a filly who will grow into a well-furnished older mare.”
Flit won the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at three and she opened her last preparation with a dynamic win over 1200m in the Light Fingers Stakes.
She proved herself in heavy ground with a narrow defeat to Splintex in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) during The Championships, leaving many to believe she's a sprinter, and has impressed the stable with her work.
It’ll be a good measure to see where Flit sits given the conditions of the race mean she carries 57kg, with the lone Group 1 win, the same weight as a 10 time Group 1 winning mare in Melody Belle.
Flit runs second in a Hawkesbury trial on July 20
“She’s shown more boldness in her training this time in and she is more than capable of racing well fresh as she showed with a fleet-footed performance to win the Light Fingers Stakes first-up back in February,’’ Cummings said.
Flit ($6 with TAB), ridden by James McDonald, is the most favoured of the Godolphin trio in the Missile and Cummings warned neither Cascadian ($23 for Glyn Schofield) or Savatiano ($7 for Rachel King) should be overlooked.
The flashy Cascadian finished midfield in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at his last start but he opened that preparation with a close second in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
Cummings said he’s trucking along well in his work and did what he needed to in his barrier trial at Hawkesbury back on July 20.
“What we’ve seen of him this time in suggests he’s returned from his spell in good shape, definitely stronger,” he said
“After some luckless runs, all eyes will be on him to see if he can become the baldy-faced assassin and convert his potential into a big race win.”
Savatiano, winner of the inaugural The Hunter last spring, won the Millie Fox (1300m) first-up at Rosehill in the autumn and was Group 1 placed in the Canterbury Stakes.
Cummings said her recent trial win on the Kensington track what just what he wanted to see and expects a forward showing on the minimum weight.
“She can be explosive first up and we are hoping the track conditions will allow her to put that talent on show,” he said.