Cumani puts faith in Meech to deliver once More
MATT Cumani believes his last-start Flemington winner One More Try is a very good horse in the making, but concedes she will need a peach of a ride from Linda Meech to win the $350,000 Ballarat Cup.
Cumani could barely believe his bad luck when the four-year-old mare, who is rated a $12 chance by Ladbrokes, drew the outside gate.
It's dented his confidence a little for what he believes is the best renewal of his "hometown" Cup since his move to Australia from the UK and setting up base in Ballarat in 2016.
"It would be awesome to win it, although it will be a challenge," Cumani told the Herald Sun.
"It is a fairly big step up in class, and she has also been dealt a hammer blow with a bad draw.
"(Meech) is going to have to get it (the ride) dead right. We don't want to be too far back and have to go around the whole field or just hope for luck. We don't want to be up the front and use her up early.
"She just needs to find a way where she can find a ground-saving run without getting locked in, and hope there is decent enough pace, but not too strong that we can't catch them."
Cumani said the Ballarat Cup was a race his stable would always chase, knowing its importance to his operations.
He will have about 400 clients visit his stables on Saturday before the races to look at the set-up - which he plans to further develop - and the horses.
"This is a race we'll always be targeting," he said.
"If we can do it (with One More Try), it would be a great honour and I would also feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity with such a nice horse."
Not surprisingly, he sees Darren Weir as his biggest stumbling block, with the favourite Lucky For All.
"He has certainly given himself every chance (with six runners)," Cumani said of Weir.
"(Lucky For All) has shown that he has lots of ability. But every one of (Weir's) horses has a chance, and Lord Fandango is definitely a danger too."
With his famous father Luca ending 43 years as a trainer this month, there had been some speculation that his son might return to Newmarket to take over.
But Matt said that was never an option and he was fully committed to Ballarat, to his clients and staff.
"We have a really good team out here and a good group of horses," he said.
Luca will again join Matt at the yearling sales early next year, helping him pick up what they both hope will be some future stars.
MICHAEL MANLEY'S ANALYSIS
Track: Soft 5
Rail: Out 3 metres from the 600m to the winning post, true the remainder.
Forecast: 20C. Possible showers.
Should be reasonable speed with PILOT D'ESSAI, MASK OF TIME and ANDREA MATEGNA all working forward. ANOTHER COLDIE should get a good spot on the speed.
BALLARAT CUP (2200m)
Saturday 4.40pm (AEDT)
1 LIFE LESS ORDINARY 7 C Waller D Dunn 60kg
2 LORD FANDANGO 15 A Alexander J Childs 59.5kg
3 ANOTHER COLDIE 1 D Weir E Brown (a) 58kg
4 TRADESMAN 5 D Weir J Mott 58kg
5 KIWIA 13 D Weir J Allen 57.5kg
6 MASK OF TIME 20 C Maher & D Eustace M Zahra 57.5kg
7 LUVALUVA 9 J Sargent L Currie 55kg
8 ANDREA MANTEGNA 6 D Weir J Lorensini 54kg
9 BERISHA 8 J Sadler B Thompson 54kg
10 ONE MORE TRY 21 M Cumani Ms L Meech 54kg
11 PILOTE D'ESSAI 2 D & B Hayes & T Dabernig R Bayliss 54kg
12 LYCURGUS 11 D O'Brien B Prebble 54kg
13 MASTER ZEPHYR 17 D Weir D Yendall 54kg
14 SAVACOOL 19 C Waller Scratched 54kg
15 SWACADELIC 3 A Purcell P Moloney 54kg
16 ONCIDIUM RULER 14 M Kent B Mertens 54kg
17 SILVERA 16 T McEvoy D Thornton 54kg
18 SMART AS YOU THINK 12 J McArdle Scratched 54kg
19e TOP PROSPECT 18 D Weir Scratched 54kg
20e LUCKY FOR ALL 10 D Weir J McNeil 54kg
21e HE EKSCELS 4 R Laming S Baster 54kg
THE BEST CHANCES
He's the class act in this. Fourth in last year's Caulfield Cup and fourth in last week's Zipping Classic underline this. He's drawn out and will need some luck but if it comes his way he's the one to beat.
Talented stayer who should have won the Eclipse Stakes last week as he was badly held up for a run for almost 200m in the straight. He doesn't want the track too rain affected, though.
MASK OF TIME
He loves it wet. Three starts ago he dead-heated in the Group 3 Coongy Cup with subsequent Group 1 winner Best Of Days on a soft 6 track. Good run last week when he finished a close-up fourth in the Eclipse Stakes
Capable staying mare who hasn't had the busy spring many of her rivals have had. Ran on nicely off a slow tempo to finish third behind Kenedna in the Matriarch Stakes at Flemington.
Racing well. Three starts ago he won the Hamilton Cup and followed that with an excellent fifth in the Geelong Cup. Last start he got too far back but ran home strongly for third in the Ararat Cup.
LUCKY FOR ALL
Potentially the best horse in the race. Forget last-start Flemington failure as his saddle slipped at the start of the race. When he's lost he's been unlucky.
1. LUCKY FOR ALL
2. Lord Fandango
3. Mask Of Time