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Image: Steve Hart
Cascadian has added to perform in the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill this weekend

A spectacular scrimmage with another rival during the Liverpool City Cup has put added pressure on Cascadian to perform in the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill.

Cascadian was embroiled in a bumping duel with the Chris Waller-trained Imaging last start when Glen Boss attempted to shoulder out on the Godolphin gelding.

James McDonald on Imaging shoved him back in with the two horses coming into contact several times as eventual winner Quackerjack fought out the finish with Vegadaze.

Cascadian finished fifth, dropping a crucial rating point, and trainer James Cummings said the onus was now on the five-year-old to step up in Saturday’s Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill to earn his spot in next month’s Group One Doncaster Mile.

“It hasn’t done his Doncaster prospects a lot of good, so there’s a bit more significance attached to what he does here,” said Cummings

“This will be a vital run for him to put his Doncaster credentials on the line.”

The first six placegetters in the Liverpool City Cup will contest the Ajax Stakes.

Trainer Anthony Cummings is hoping Vegadaze can reverse the result on Quackerjack after the latter nailed him by a short head last start.

He says the on-pace runner is in terrific order and has been working sharply.

“I think the distance will suit, the weight scale is in his favour as well and he’s got a race pattern that is convenient for that trip and that track,” Cummings said.

The Ajax will be a fork in the road for Vegadaze, who is yet to win beyond 1400 metres.

He holds nominations for the TJ Smith (1400m) and Doncaster Mile (1600m) and his performance on Saturday will help determine which path Cummings pursues.

“It will tell us which way to go,” Cummings said.

“He’s in the TJ and he’s in the Doncaster…. The way he’s going, it’s more likely to be the 1600 I think.”

In an open betting race, Vegadaze was $8 on Thursday with Cascadian and Quackerjack equal favourites at $5.

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