JAMES Cummings, who is expected to be named as Godolphin’s new head trainer this week, is taking a business-as-usual approach as he prepares Manicc for the Muswellbrook meeting.
Cummings has been the hot favourite to take over at Godolphin since the resignation of John O’Shea but neither the trainer nor the stable was commenting.
A source told The Daily Telegraph that the deal was basically done and an announcement of Cummings appointment was imminent.
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Cummings is the grandson of the legendary trainer Bart Cummings and there is a link with the past and present through Manicc.
Manicc’s rider Keagan Latham will wear very familiar racing colours – royal blue, red sash and white sleeves when he rides the filly in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1280m).
These are the same colours used on former Horse of the Year Leilani, trained by Bart Cummings to win the win 1974 Caulfield Cup.
James Cummings said a track gallop Manicc had with stablemate, promising filly Peaceful Sea, convinced the young trainer the filly can continue her winning momentum at Muswellbrook.
“Peaceful Sea is a nice Coolmore-owned filly with ability so I wanted to see how Manicc would shape up alongside her,’’ Cummings said.
“Manicc has race fitness on her side but she did gallop well – both fillies did. They really attacked the line and it showed me that Manicc has done well since last start win.’’
Cummings has only sent Manicc to the races twice, for an unplaced run at Newcastle back in December before her winning return at Cessnock when she led throughout to win over 1150m in good time earlier this month.
“Her Cessnock win was very good, this is a filly that has benefited from being given time to strengthen and develop,’’ Cummings said.
“She has drawn well and this does look a nice race for her.’’
Manicc starts out of barrier four in the 14-horse field that includes some seasoned, older campaigners including Nissile, Dubali, Still Undaunted and Barricade.
Cummings’s strong three-year-old team continues to kick goals with Tactical Advantage showing his class to win at Doomben last Saturday.
The Randwick trainer confirmed Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon will continue his Queensland Derby campaign in the Group 3 $ 150,000 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Prized Icon was unlucky last start when a close second to France in the Inglis Guineas at Scone and will appreciate getting back out to a staying trip, Cummings said.
Stablemate Good Standing won the Queensland Day Stakes last stat and he will line-up in the Group 3 $ 150,000 Fred Best Classic (1400m).
Originally published as Cummings’ Godolphin move imminent