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If there are horses for courses, could there be features for their teachers?

A look at the training honour roll for the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) suggests rival trainers Peter Snowden and Anthony Cummings have a virtual mortgage on Saturday’s Randwick feature.

Cummings will start the favourite Strike The Stars while Snowden will saddle up Newcastle Spring Stakes placegetter Ambidexter.

Snowden and Cummings have dominated the race in recent years, winning four of the past five editions between them.

Cummings captured the 2000m Randwick feature with Hotel Grand and Teranaba in 2005-06 while Snowden won it with Sousa in 2008 and Erewhon 12 months ago.

Mike Moroney is the only other trainer to feature during that time with Monaco Consul’s upset victory two years ago.

Both Hotel Grand and Teranaba contested the Spring Stakes at Newcastle and the Dulcify Quality with varying success before backing up to win the Group One seven days later.

Cummings has adopted a different route with Strike The Stars who will go into the Spring Champion off the back of a determined Gloaming Stakes (1800m) win on September 17.

“It was a great run. He was entitled to lose having stumbled coming out of the gates and he still found a way to win so I thought that was pretty impressive,” Cummings said of Strike The Star’s Gloaming victory.

“I’m very happy with him, he’s in good shape and goes into the race in his best form.

“I’m just hoping he turns out to be the best horse.”

Victory by Strike The Stars would bring a welcome change of fortune for Cummings.

His star colt Smart Missile has been controversially beaten at his past two starts in Group One races, including last weekend at Caulfield when he was slow to jump and had a chequered passage in the straight eventually finishing 10th in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

“Last week was a bit of a frustrating day all round, hopefully the tables turn,” Cummings said.

Snowden will be hoping Cummings’ luck turns in another race.

The Darley trainer produced the Spring Champion Stakes quinella last year with Erewhon and Retrieve but will rely on Ambidexter on Saturday.

Erewhon came through the Gloaming but like Sousa, Ambidexter contested the Spring Stakes (1600m) as his final lead-up.

He was equal third pick with TAB Sportsbet on Friday at $6 with Strike The Stars the $2.80 favourite.


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