By Brad Gray
Rockafella heads a strong team of Anthony and Ed Cummings’ trained runners at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and there is an air of confidence emanating from the stable about their collective chances.
The lightly-raced Rockafella steps out for the first time for Anthony and Ed having formerly been trained by James Cummings, on the back of three barrier trials.
“We were happier with him after his second trial for us. He had his first trial under James’s care,” Ed Cummings explained.
“In the period following that first trial for us we felt he was having too much of a blow to be going to the races so we gave him the extra trial and he came on well from that. He is a still a bit big but I think the distance will suit him and although I expect he’ll improve with the run, he’s ready to perform.”
“He is blessed with ability and has been well placed by James. He is a 67 rater and it’s pretty rare to have a 72 rating 1100m on a Saturday. With the lure of the prizemoney and given that he has had three trials, everything lines up pretty well for him.”
Another untapped talent in Feirin made a big impression winning at Gosford on debut and there’s a logical reasoning as to why she finds herself in town just nine days later.
“It’s a tight turnaround and that’s based predominantly on the lure of the BOBs bonus available to her as a three-year-old. It’ll be the last time she will be eligible,” Cummings said.
“She was very impressive on debut and on potential alone, she could be our best of the day. She has drawn well and gets Hugh Bowman on. There is a little bit of unknown about her regarding just how much she could improve off that first run.
“It’s a decent test for her and although she won on debut like a horse that could handle that test, she is going to have to be very good to win.
“We’ve always had a lot of time for her. She had her first run as a late three-year-old and that speaks volumes of the philosophy of the stable to give horses time should they require it and she has been one of them.”
There won’t be too many fitter horses at Rosehill than Life O’Brien who will be having his 10th start of the preparation but the rising six-year-old is currently thriving on racing.
“He is very fit and very consistent. He also gets Kerrin back. I thought he was unlucky not to finish even closer the other day. On form, he is the stable's best chance of the day.”
Rounding out the team is unassuming filly Poetic Diva who according to Ed, is very capable of causing a boilover at the triple figure odds currently on offer with TAB Fixed Odds.
“She’ll relish the step up in trip and gets a good gate. Corey (Brown) just has to bury her away. She can be a lot closer than she was on debut,” said Cummings.
“She paid full penalty for a bad barrier in a race where there was no speed. Her finishing sectionals were on par with some of the best of the day across the board.
“She has got a bit of ability and from a good gate, with a good ride, she could be right in the finish and surprise at odds.”
Meanwhile, Man From Uncle, who won the Group Two Hobartville Stakes over the autumn, is due to commence pre-training.
“We’re looking at a late run at the spring with him. There is a lot around for a horse like him but with what he showed us early on we’ve given him the benefit of a really good spell and will gradually build him up.”