By Ray Hickson
There’s no doubt in trainer Anthony Cummings’ mind that Libertini is a potential Group 1 performer but he concedes she’ll be relying on luck, and class, to win at Randwick on Thursday.
Few could have missed Libertini’s stunning debut in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) on Day 1 of The Championships as she chased home Bivouac.
“She had the little outboard motor going there for a while,’’ Cummings said.
“I think she showed what we thought we had, she's a very promising filly with a bright future.’’
Punter’s Intelligence data backs up what the eye saw – she clocked the fastest last 600m of the day (34.61) and last 200m of the day (11.79).
Libertini is a short-priced favourite ($1.85 with TAB) to take out the Armistice Plate (1200m) and Cummings is confident she can – but said with the outside barrier jockey Kerrin McEvoy will be riding a very simple race.
“We'll be looking to ride her quietly and hit the line late, I don't think that will make much difference,’’ Cummings said.
“The best way to handle her is to get her off speed and let her hit the line. Everything she has done has had that shape to it.
“But you never know what's in there, who's to say there's not three like her in the race.
“You have to respect what you're up against and hopefully she gets the breaks she needs and finishes on top.’’
There’s every chance a Randwick win will encourage Cummings to push on to the Scone carnival in two weeks before focusing on the good fillies races later in the year.
The corresponding race last year was won by Eawase who won a Listed race at her next start and was again stakes placed last spring.
He’s certain Libertini will excel when she steps out in distance later in the year – her dam Aloha was a Coolmore Classic winner so the Princess Series would be a likely target – but if she heads to Scone she’ll likely have to come back in distance to the Listed Woodlands Stakes (1100m).
“It was a high class race she ran in the other day and the way she went about it you'd think when she got to distances 1200m plus she'd be more comfortable,’’ Cummings said.
Libertini runs second at Randwick on April 6
The Randwick trainer starts the program with two odds-on favourites as Les Amoureux, and stablemate Disco Mo, chases a maiden win in the Light Horse Brigade Handicap (1400m).
Les Amoureux was forced to cover ground off a two month break at Warwick Farm on April 17 where she boxed on to run third behind Zouologist.
Cummings said the race looks ideal for her, 1400m on the big track, but also warns not to underestimate the stablemate.
“It's probably a quick turn around but when I saw the race I thought we'd have a look and not many turned up,’’ he said.
“And Disco Mo was unlucky the other day, he was stuck in a traffic jam.’’