Anthony Cummings didn’t have a Melbourne Cup runner but it turns out he had a vested interest in the result as he prepares two stayers for comeback runs in the same race at Rosehill on Saturday.
One of them, Shadows In The Sun, is a South Australian Derby winner.
The other is a six-year-old who went close to beating Green Moon in their one and only clash.
Home On A Wing injured himself while spelling after a spring campaign last year which almost delivered a Newcastle Gold Cup victory at the expense of Green Moon.
There was only a head separating them at Newcastle but, on paper, the gulf is much wider now given Green Moon fended off the internationals to win the Melbourne Cup.
Still, it’s a form reference Cummings is entitled to cling to as he plans for the summer although it’s not enough to convince bookmakers Home On A Wing should be anything but a rank outsider in the main sprint race of the day, the Styletread.com.au Handicap (1200m).
“Both horses have had their issues but they have got to start somewhere again and they seem to have come back in decent order,” Cummings said.
“It will be interesting to see how they return, especially Home On A Wing.
“That form from Newcastle doesn’t look too bad these days.”
Cummings said the spelling paddock hadn’t been kind to Home On A Wing.
“Unfortunately he hurt himself while he was out,” he said.
“It’s a case of him being a sounder horse in the stable than he was while he spelled.”
At $35 in latest betting, Shadows In The Sun is only marginally more fancied than his stablemate and since winning the South Australia Derby last year his career has been limited to five starts.
“He got pneumonia and although I gave him a few runs earlier this year he was never quite right,” Cummings said.
Sydney’s flagship staying race during the off-season is the Summer Cup but Cummings doubts Shadows In The Sun and Home On A Wing will have enough miles in their legs to run in the Group Three race.
“The Summer Cup might come around too soon but they both might have their next run in the Villiers, depending how they go on Saturday,” Cummings said.
Cummings, who won the Victoria Derby with Fiveandahalfstar, would appear to have more legitimate chances at Sandown with Strike The Stars (Eclipse Stakes) and Ever The Same (Summoned Stakes).
Strike The Stars will enjoy some weight relief after carrying 60kg to a Flemington placing last week and will be out to confirm Group One autumn plans for the two-state stable.