The double-figure odds being offered about the Anthony Cummings-trained High Above in Saturday’s Thousand Guineas might just be an omen.
The Sydney trainer has captured three feature races in the southern capital, each time with an unfancied horse.
Fiveandahalfstar was a $41 chance when he won the Victoria Derby while Turffontein started at double figure odds for his two Melbourne Group One victories.
In $26 chance High Above, Cummings has a filly most punters have dismissed in Thousand Guineas calculations but her presence in the Group One has been well thought out.
Connections had the option to stay at home and contest the Group One Flight Stakes at Randwick last Saturday.
But after assessing the strength of Sydney’s best three-year-old fillies, and the revised spring timeslot for the Thousand Guineas, her trainer made the decision to send High Above to Melbourne.
“That would have been a hard race to turn the result around in,” Cummings said of the Flight Stakes won seamlessly by First Seal.
“My view was that the Thousand Guineas would be an easier race than the other fillies race (Flight Stakes) and with the Thousand Guineas now run a week after the Flight, we knew there was a good chance none of the Flight fillies would back up.”
So far, so good.
But what High Above also brings to Melbourne is form behind First Seal who is the odds-on favourite to defeat the boys in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney.
High Above was third to the star filly on debut in August, beaten less than three-quarters of a length.
She followed with a five-length midweek maiden win at Warwick Farm and wasn’t disgraced when fifth behind Spring Champion second favourite Sweynesse in the Group Three Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle.
“The form out of her first start stacks up well. Plainly that filly, First Seal, has improved since then, as has High Above, and her win after that (at Warwick Farm) was compelling,” Cummings said.
“She had a pretty tough run at her first start over a mile at Newcastle and I thought she did a good job to still hold on for fifth against the boys.
“She’s back against the fillies here and her gallops this week have been pretty good.”
High Above has had two weeks to settle into Melbourne where she is trained at Caulfield.
Mark Zahra has the ride.
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