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James Cummings says the time has arrived for Bivouac to take the next step

Godolphin trainer James Cummings says the time has arrived for Bivouac to take the next step and announce himself as a future weight-for-age star.

Having shown off his qualities under handicap conditions in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 7, Bivouac gets his weight-for-age chance in Friday night’s William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley.

The William Reid is the final Group One race in Melbourne for the 2019/20 season.

Bivouac finished a luckless sixth in the Group One Manikato Stakes over Friday night’s course and distance in the spring at his only start under lights.

With a Group One victory against his own age in the Golden Rose at Rosehill and victory at the highest level in a handicap, a weight-for-age win would be the icing on the cake.

It will not be an easy assignment for Bivouac from barrier one, the same barrier he had when sixth in the Manikato Stakes.

Of his 10 opponents, six are Group One winners.

“The William Reid will provide an excellent challenge for Bivouac in another Group One,” Cummings said.

“The colt has toughened up after going for it against the older horses in difficult handicaps so far this campaign and he’s well suited at weight-for-age now with his superior rating.”

Bivouac was a victim of a track favouring front runners when sixth in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up at Caulfield on February 22 before his Newmarket Handicap success.

Cummings hopes Bivouac will be able to take advantage of barrier one on Friday night and settle handy to the speed, something he did in the Newmarket.

“We let him camp closer to the speed and he was able to show his dominance with a scintillating performance up the straight,” Cummings said.

Jockey Hugh Bowman is not going to let the inside draw bother him.

“I’d rather one than 12,” he said.

“I guess it does open the door to be snookered inside and not get out. It has actually happened to him before.

“I can’t change that, but obviously I will be doing what I can to make sure I’ve got a clear run, but I can’t really predict that.

“It’s going to depend a lot on pace, on pressure, the horse himself and his temperament will determine, to a degree, how I ride him.”

 
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