By Ray Hickson
A race like the Sydney Cup in 2020 is still a fair way off but trainer Anthony Cummings is hoping Terwilliker can climb his way through the ranks in the new season.
Cummings has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to his stocks for the new season with the likes of Group 1 winner Prince Fawaz, the exciting Libertini and classy types Baller and Vegadaze all either back in work or nearing it.
Terwilliker is still a way off their level, Cummings said, but has the chance to go up a notch in the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It’s over a distance I think will be comfortable for him,’’ Cummings said.
“He hit the line really well the other day, coming through the worst part of the ground, he’s a natural stayer. He gave us a bit of a hint he's a promising stayer last time through but certainly far more so this time.
“It’s nice to have something to get over ground, he has a few steps to take to get to any reasonable level but he looks capable.’’
The four-year-old has won just two of his 20 starts but as Cummings alluded his latest effort, a close second to Fanciful Toff at Randwick three weeks ago, is a sign that he’s heading in the right direction.
Cummings elected to scratch the gelding from a midweek engagement on the Kensington track, where he was a clear favourite, to take on open company.
He’s pressing for Stayer’s Cup favouritism, $5 with TAB, and Cummings would like to see the horse be willing to settle himself in the front half of the race rather than the back.
“He has to keep improving, he still has some kinks like being a bit slow out of the gates,’’ he said.
“We’re going to try to teach him to race on speed. That’s where we’d like to be but I’d like him to be able to put himself there.
“With experience and confidence I expect he’d do that.’’
While it appears the only way is up for Terwilliker, Cummings said Out Rockabyebaby needs to step up in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1500m) after a lacklustre second-up effort.
She’s a $51 chance on Saturday and that seems fair on what she’s shown recently but Cummings is banking on her finding something.
“She’s a bit of a work in progress. I was happy with her first-up run but the other was a bit disappointing,’’ he said.
Terwilliker runs second at Randwick on June 8
“I think she will enjoy the sting out of the ground and on her New Zealand form she has shown herself capable of this sort of race.
“If she runs up to her work she will be competitive but if the last run is where she’s up to that’s something we have to deal with.’’
Meanwhile, Cummings confirmed Libertini, Baller and Vegadaze have all been back in the stable for a week while JJ Atkins winner Prince Fawaz returns to work in the coming days.
“We have some nice horses there and they are mature horses that have shown enough to say they are going to step up,’’ he said.
As excited as he is about that team heading into the spring he named horses like Something Fast, This Is So and Constellations as handy horses he’s expecting to improve at their next campaigns.