Bart Cummings has tinkered with Precedence’s gear in a bid to return the stayer to top form for Saturday’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup.
The six-year-old has had three runs from a spell and while he has been thereabouts he hasn’t threatened.
Cummings has elected to remove the Norton bit and blinkers from Precedence in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and add a lugging bit.
The master horseman already holds the Caulfield Cup training record and will chase his eighth win in the staying feature on Saturday.
Cummings, who last won the race with Viewed two years ago, said Precedence had done well since his last-start 10th in the Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) won by Cup favourite December Draw.
But he concedes his charge faces a tough task from barrier 20, although Precedence will come in to 16 if the emergencies don’t get a run.
“He’s going well, he’s just drawn a bit wide unfortunately,” Cummings said on Sydney’s Sky Sports radio on Thursday.
“Hopefully he can overcome that with some good riding in the first couple of furlongs.”
Jockey Steven Arnold has had eight rides on Precedence with their best result a second to Heart Of Dreams in the Group Two St George Stakes (1800m) in February.
Cummings is happy to leave tactics up to the heavyweight hoop but is hoping Precedence will be able to settle handy.
“I’ll leave it to him (Arnold), he knows what to do,” Cummings said.
“I’d like to try to get him ridden a little bit closer if possible, midfield by about the mile (1600m) or so.
“But it depends. I don’t think there’s much pace in the race.
“If there is any pace it will probably be in the first furlongs and then it will probably slow up as it usually does.”
Precedence was a $31 Caulfield Cup chance with TAB Sportsbet on Thursday and at $26 for the Melbourne Cup in which he ran eighth last year.
Recent acquisition Illo, a German import, was at $41 for the Melbourne Cup and Cummings confirmed he would have a lead-up run in either the Geelong or Moonee Valley Cup.
A dual stakeswinner in Germany, Illo has put on 20kg since arriving in Australia and Cummings likes what he has seen of the entire.
“He’s eating well, he’s putting on weight, I think he’s got a future, it’s just a matter of if he’s been out here long enough,” Cummings said.