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A day at the beach for Cup hope Grey Lion

Trainer Matt Cumani has taken the chance to vary the routine of his Melbourne Cup hope Grey Lion with a trip to the beach.

Runner-up in last week’s Geelong Cup, Grey Lion had a walk in the cool waters at Altona beach on Friday with companion Gallic Chieftain.

Cumani decided on the change of scenery after Grey Lion had a gallop at the Werribee quarantine centre a day earlier.

“I didn’t want to do too much with him today so I thought he would benefit from seeing something a little bit different,” Cumani said.

“They’ve been in quarantine for a few weeks and a little bit of a change that is not too dramatic is always good for their mental state.”

Cumani took the opportunity to ride Grey Lion saying it would give him a better understanding of the stayer.

“I’m a frustrated jockey to be honest,” Cumani said.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to ride him in work because I’m too heavy but when they’re walking around I thought it was a good opportunity to hop on and get an understanding of his character.”

Cumani said it was fantastic to have a Cup runner so early in his training career which began earlier this year.

With his mother Sarah looking after Grey Lion on slow mornings at Werribee, Cumani was joined by his sister Francesca as they waded the two horses in the shallows at Altona.

But unfortunately his father Luca, who has trained two second placegetters in the Melbourne Cup, is unlikely to be at Flemington on Tuesday.

“It’s a busy time for him in the UK as the sales are on and he’s got 110 horses to look after, but he’ll be out in January for the sales to give me a hand,” Cumani said.

“I think Dad would be a bit jealous if Grey Lion won but he shouldn’t be because he’s played a huge part in this.

“And I don’t know if this would count as England’s first winner or not coming from Ballarat.”

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