Anthony Cummings is convinced Thunder Fantasy can turn the tables on Shamus Award in the Australian Cup leaving Fiorente as the colt’s biggest obstacle.
The news the Lloyd Williams-owned pair Green Moon and Mourayan are expected to take up forward positions has reinforced the trainer’s belief Shamus Award is more vulnerable than in the Australian Guineas.
Thunder Fantasy was a closing third in the Guineas behind the Cox Plate winner, encouraging Cummings to give him his chance over 2000m in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature at Flemington.
Shamus Award has been able to dictate from the front in both the Cox Plate and the Guineas.
“The change of tactics of the two Williams horses means Shamus Award won’t be able to get those same easy sectionals,” Cummings said.
“Given that’s going to happen he’s going to have to work and that will be different from the Cox Plate and different from the other day.
“He won’t be able to control the race.
“Fiorente is the one to beat.”
Bookmakers agree with Fiorente the $2.05 favourite ahead of Shamus Award at $4.40 and Thunder Fantasy next at $8.
Cummings said Thunder Fantasy had come through the Guineas in good order and the seven-day back-up was of no concern.
A good performance in the Australian Cup will however confirm the course he takes through the autumn.
“I think last week’s run has improved him. He had to come from an impossible position,” Cummings said.
“If he goes as I think he will, it rules out the Doncaster and he will be on a path to the Australian Derby.”
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente won the Group Two Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 22 at his first start since he took out the Melbourne Cup in November.
He launched a late run to collar Mourayan near the line with Star Rolling a close third and Green Moon fourth.
Both Mourayan and 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon were handy throughout the race while Fiorente came from worse than midfield.
Despite Mourayan’s performance, last year’s Sydney Cup winner is a $26 chance while Green Moon is at $12.