Trainer Anthony Cummings and jockeyTommy Berry have combined to mastermind a Champagne Stakes upset with She’s Extreme, the filly denying Fireburn a clean-sweep of the two-year-old triple crown.
Fireburn had had the measure of She’s Extreme the three times they had met over shorter distances but Cummings said he never lost faith his filly could turn the tables in Saturday’s 1600 metre, Group 1 contest.
She’s Extreme’s dam Keysbrook was a winner over 2100m and placed over 2400m in the 2015 WATC Derby and Cummings could see his filly’s stamina starting to emerge once he was able to adjust her training.
“It was a simple as working her to her pedigree,” Cummings said.
“With a stayer’s pedigree, when you’re working them for short races to try to keep them fresh, they can do it, but they don’t do it as well.
“As soon as you flick the switch and you start to work them to their pedigree, they get stronger, and that’s what she did.”
Having recently lost his best horse Libertini, who collapsed and died suddenly at trackwork, She’s Extreme’s victory held extra meaning for an emotional Cummings.
It was also significant for Berry, who admitted he took the lost heavily when She’s Extreme shot to the front in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) last start, only to be mowed down by Brenton Avdulla on Fireburn.
He went into the Champagne with a clear plan and was delighted to pull it off.
“It really broke my heart when Brenton went past me the other day and it broke it even more when he give me a wave,” Berry said.
“I think it definitely broke her heart as well. It’s hard for a horse to chase, especially a young horse, when a horse goes past you so quick.
“When we got an easy time early (on Saturday), which we always looked like getting on paper, I didn’t want to give Brenton any chance to get next to me.
“I probably got Brenton’s horse out of his comfort zone today and that was a winning move.”
Fireburn’s trainer Gary Portelli was the first to congratulate Cummings after the race and said he was proud of his youngster’s effort.
“The winner was too good today, “Portelli said.
“It kicked on the corner, it was a slow-run race which was a worry and she just had too big a task to run it down.”