Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cummings' star ticks the boxes for Derby with BMW victory


All stars: Fiveandahalfstar with Hugh Bowman (green and white silks) wins The BMW. Photo: Jenny Evans

Anthony Cummings says Fiveandahalfstar has the edge on his rivals in Saturday's Australian Derby after a second win, this time at the classic trip of 2400 metres in The BMW on Saturday.

Triple crown-chasing It's A Dundeel was into $1.50 favourite for the Derby with Fiveandahalfstar at $4, despite his wins in the Victoria Derby (2500m) and The BMW.

''He ticks a lot more boxes over the distance than others he will meet in the Derby don't,'' Cummings said. ''We know he will get the trip and you can't say that about some of the others. They will have to run past him.

''It is going to be a great race but it is not a two-horse race that everyone thinks. I have seen too many races that have looked like there are only two in it where a third horse comes out and wins.''


It's A Dundeel has been the star of the three-year-olds' path to the Derby, winning the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas with a brilliant turn of foot from back in the field.

Fiveandahalfstar does his work from the front and winds up races from a long way, defying his rivals to run him down.

''It is that contrast that makes the race so interesting,'' Cummings said. ''It's A Dundeel has been very good in the guineas races from back in the field.

''There is no secret how we will ride our bloke, but I would think at 2400m they can be a bit a closer.

''It will come to which jockey getting it right on the day; as we saw on Saturday, Hugh [Bowman] is very good at rating my bloke in front.''

Cummings was pleased with the way Fiveandahalfstar came through the testing ground at Rosehill. ''He will have a light week and be ready to go on Saturday,'' Cummings said.

Bowman was confident that he is on the best stayer in the Derby.

''He is the sort of horse that you can just build into races and keeps going,'' Bowman said. ''He has furnished into a very good stayer and he deserved his win [in The BMW] and will be very hard to beat in the Derby.''

The Derby field will include the Tulloch Stakes quinella of Philippi and Hippopus, while another Victorian, Rosehill Guineas failure Hvasstan, will be given a second chance the Sydney way of going. Mick Kent was delighted with Philippi's group 2 win over 2000m on Saturday.

''The Derby has been the goal all the way along and we will see how he pulls up and make that call later in the week,'' Kent said. ''I think he will run the 2400m right out.''

Darley will send Proverb to the Frank Packer Plate on April 27, leaving Solemn as the breeding giant's only runner.

John O'Shea said Kingdoms, fourth in It's A Dundeel's Rosehill Guineas, would be his only runner.

''He will be a lot better suited at the extra trip and will run a good race,'' O'Shea said.

New Zealand Derby winner Habibi will wait for next week's Australian Oaks after her third to Norzita in the Vinery Stud Stakes on Saturday.
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