By Ray Hickson
“Less is more’’ is rarely an approach used on stayers but trainer Anthony Cummings says it works for emerging galloper Roman Son.
It’s been an unorthodox, European, and very non-Cummings style preparation as the lightly raced four-year-old has his first run in two months in the National Jockeys Trust Handicap (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Cummings said the stable has tailored Roman Son’s build up to his return to suit the type of horse he is and is confident he can perform.
“I expect a good run because he’s a good horse,’’ Cummings said.
“Whether he’s a strong betting proposition is hard to say but we’d be expecting a good run and it would give us a clear way forward.
Roman Son's last start win at Warwick Farm - June 28
“He’s bred to be a Cups horse and that’s where we are headed but it’s probably a year before he might really be ready.’’
Roman Son was bred by Bart Cummings, who passed away two years ago on August 30, and won all three starts in his early winter campaign, the first under the care of James Cummings before switching camps into Anthony and Edward's care.
After his win at Warwick Farm on June 28 consideration was given to keeping him in work through the winter but a foot issue forced the new trainer’s hand and made the decision an easy one.
“That sorted itself out and he’s had a nice trial since,’’ Cummings said.
“He’s very much a natural stayer. The style and nature of the work we do with him to get him ready is quite different to what would be a normal Cummings style routine.
“That’s because he is a natural athlete and less is more.’’
Cummings also had Roman Son nominated for the 1600m Benchmark event but concluded the longer race suited him a lot more.
“The shape of the mile race is a bit quirky and it’s much better to put him in a race where he can get himself into a rhythm rather than something that is a sit and sprint,’’ he said.
“There’d be more pressure in that for him than there would be in a 2000m.’’
Cummings is forecasting an improved performance from Muraqaba in the TAB Supports Jockeys Trust Handicap (1600m) if a gear change works as planned.
It’s not that the gelding has been going poorly but Cummings said he’s been getting too far back in his races and hopes a barrier blanket will help him spring out of the gates.
Muraqaba was beaten 3.3 lengths by Comin’ Through at Randwick on August 19 after settling at the tail.
“His last couple of runs have been very good albeit giving them a start,’’ he said.
“We put a barrier blanket on him with the idea of him racing a bit more prominently than he has in the past.
“If he jumps cleanly he’s going to race in the first half of the field and if he hits the line as he has done he will make his presence felt.’’