Cummings gets his Group I in blue

Tom Walter - Saturday September 30

Less than three months into the new job, James Cummings has his first Group I winner as head trainer for Godolphin courtesy of a textbook ride by Glyn Schofield on Alizee in the Group I Flight Stakes (1600m).

Alizee dominates in the Group I Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart

A last start winner of the main Flight Stakes lead-up - the Group II Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight ago - Alizee ($2.90 fav) was a popular pick in betting markets and duly delivered but not without the guile and experience of Schofield.

Starting from barrier 10 in a field 11, Schofield immediately snagged Alizee back to last on the fence before slicing his way through the field entering the home straight and peeling off the back of the eventual third placegetter Cellargirl ($10).

Once Schofield obtained clear running at the 250m mark, the race was as good as over. 

The daughter of Sepoy swept past her rivals en route to a comfortable 2-1/4-length win. Bjorn Baker's Champagne Cuddles ($3.80) ran another courageous second backing-up for the third consecutive week and finished 2-1/4 lengths clear of Cellargirl for Kelly Schweida.

"This filly has just given me so much confidence, especially from her last start win. She's got a turn of speed second to none at the end of her race," Schofield said.

"Hard pressed to suggest she won't get further, she was really electric coming from the back of the field, I'm pretty happy she's won over a mile."

At the relatively young age of 29, Cummings' appointment at Godolphin raised a few eyebrows in the industry but the transition has been seamless for both parties.

The former Randwick-based trainer now has a Group I scalp from just his second starter at the top level, and is preparing winners at an overall strike rate of 23 percent since August 1.

"It's so important. It's the pinnacle of racing and its why Sheik Mohammed has such a great passion for his horses," Cummings said.

"It's great for the whole team – you can't imagine the kick along it gives everyone from the bottom to the top it has been a big team effort for this filly.

"She went to sleep in the tie up stalls out the back. She had a perfect preparation to peak in the grand final. She has walked in. Full credit to all the staff.

"I'm not sure if we'll press on with her, if she shows any signs of not wanting to go on we'll put her straight out and concentrate on the autumn because she has a good future ahead of her."

With the pressure valve now released, Cummings is looking forward to the rest of the spring carnival which continues on Sunday at Caulfield where stable star Hartnell is poised to start favourite in the Group I Underwood Stakes (1800m).

Advertisment
More Reading...
Baker Swoops on $145,000 Almanzor Colt
Mark Baker has had plenty of success pinhooking out of New Zealand Bloodstock’s May Sale, and he believes he has found another promising youngster at Karaka on Friday.
Capitalist Earns his Fee Increase
Newgate Farm’s Golden Slipper winning sire Capitalist has achieved great things so far this season and a Group I winner last Saturday in Captivant put the icing on the cake to justify a fee increase from $44,000 to $99,000.
War Decree Fee Unchanged
Inglewood Stud’s young stallion War Decree, a son of War Front, will stand the 2021 season at an unchanged fee of $4,500+GST.
Flying Artie Colt Wins $200,000 Inglis Scone 2YOChallenge
The Newgate Farm young gun sires have been a fixture winning feature juvenile races this season and kept the golden run going at Scone on Friday when David Pfeiffer and the Darby Racing owners captured the $200,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge (1200m) with Flying Artie colt Artero.
Written Tycoon – The Arrowfield Legacy
Breeders that go to Written Tycoon this spring at his new home at Yulong Stud may reap the rewards for years to come from his one year stint at Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley.
Ad Valorem's Laure Me In Captures Scone Cup
The six-year-year-old Ad Valorem (USA) gelding Laure Me In completed a good day for trainer David Pfieffer and jockey Rachel King when he powered home from near the tail of the field to win the Listed Darley Scone Cup.
Sad Passing of Reset
Darley celebrate the life of Northwood Park’s trailblazer Reset who passed at age 20.
14th Winner for Capitalist
The Lindsay Park team delivered the 14th first crop winner for Capitalist at Albury on Friday when red hot favourite Alcudia ran out an easy winner at Albury.
Sire Averages for All Sales – Food for Thought Data
The pointy end of the Australian bloodstock market was highlighted at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale last week where we saw an average price $369,876, but one swallow does not make a summer and when assessing the true commercial performance of any stallion, a look at the overall average for all sales this year is a must.
Irish Stakes Success for Zoustar Half-Brother
A half-brother to Champion Australian sprinter and sire Zoustar, four year-old Galileo stallion Emperor of the Sun has found staying as his forte and won the Listed Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes (1m 6f) at Leopardstown overnight.