Matt Cumani has noticed a change in Cups-nominated Duretto who runs for the second time for the trainer at The Valley.
After a leg injury halted his path towards last year’s Melbourne Cup for Andrew Balding, Duretto was left in Australia to be trained by Cumani.
A fading 10th first-up at Caulfield over 1600m on August 17, Duretto runs again in Saturday’s Powerflo Solutions Handicap (2040m).
“He’s never been a flashy worker but since his first run he has picked it up which hopefully is a good sign,” Cumani said.
“We weren’t really expecting a huge amount carrying that big weight over that distance first-up and he probably did a little too much early in the run.
“But he’s come out of the run well which is the important thing.”
Cumani expects Saturday’s race, in which Duretto will carry 61kg after the claim for Fred Kersley, to tighten him up for a 2400m race, likely to be the R M Ansett Classic at Mornington on September 28.
“You would not think that Mornington would suit him, but he’s got some great form around Chester which is as tight a track as you would get in the UK,” Cumani said.
“I can’t wait to get him up in trip as he’s doing everything right at home.”
Duretto will be joined in Saturday’s race by Sylpheed who finished ahead of Duretto in second place at Caulfield.
Cumani said the mare was progressing nicely but he would have preferred to give her another run before she got to 2000m.
“She is carrying a lot of condition this prep and not shedding it very quickly,” Cumani said.
“It’s good for her overall well-being and she is training very very well, but her first run at 2000 metres, I’m just worried she might need it.
“She’s a tough filly and tries hard, but hasn’t been able to win a race for us yet and going into the spring it’s going to get harder and harder for her.”