It’s rare that James Cummings lets his guard down when talking about the future of one of his horses, but the word Deprive achieved a different outcome.
Cummings spoke to Racenet on Wednesday about Saturday’s runners and when it came to Deprive, which runs in the Listed June Stakes at Randwick, his poker face gave way to a cheeky smirk.
The four-year-old Denman gelding resumed from a spell at Randwick a fortnight ago and scored one of the more impressive wins seen at Sydney racing’s headquarters in recent times.
“I think he returned where he left off,” Cummings said. “He also smashed them at the end of last prep in the style of a very promising horse.”
Cummings accepted to run the winner of five of his eight starts in the Randwick 1100m feature and also the Listed Hinkler Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
“I’ve kept him in Sydney because he maps well, he’s got an attractive record at Randwick and he’s better weighted. I don’t like giving weight away with horses,” Cummings said.
“It’s a good race on Saturday.
“If there is a concern it’s probably 1100m second-up and not a strong six (furlongs).
“I’d like to see a repeat of his strong first-up rating on Saturday.”
Cummings said the step-up to an off-season listed grade handicap is the “continuity of nurturing the horse to come right for the stable” but he closed back up when asked about potential targets in the horse’s five-year-old season including the prospect of Australia’s richest race.
“I think he’s got a lot to offer and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet,” he said.
“I want to take him to the top but I’m not going to talk about races like The Everest with a (benchmark) 90 rater.
“Let’s get him into the 100s and then we’ll discuss those elite level races.”
Deprive is the $2.10 favourite for the June Stakes and will again be ridden by Rachel King.
Meanwhile, Cummings is undecided if Lanigera, $3.40 favourite in the Winter Racing 2YO Handicap (1000m), will make a return to the races on Saturday.
Also by Golden Rose winner Denman, Lanigera has been gelded since his last campaign where he finished close up behind Group I autumn performer Loving Gaby.
“The horse is only just there and I’m not certain of running,” he said.
“The soft nature of the track and where we think he’s at will be the deciding factors by scratching time on Saturday morning.”
Story courtesy of Racenet