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Etah James out to add to staying record

Ballarat trainer Matt Cumani has not been surprised by the quick progression up the staying ranks of Etah James.

The five-year-old mare will be chasing her first stakes success when she runs in the Listed Bagot Handicap at Flemington on Monday.

A veteran of only seven starts, Etah James has won five and will be pressing to make it four on end.

It has all come in a bit of rush for Cumani as the mare has graduated from country class to winning at Caulfield at her most recent outing.

While not surprised by her staying prowess, Cumani is surprised at how deep into her preparation she’s been able to go.

“It sounds like I know exactly what I’m talking about, but I certainly don’t,” Cumani said.

“She’s been an easy, straightforward filly to deal with and she’s always looked good on the gallops at home and has been able to beat anything she goes with.

“What has surprised me is I thought she would feel her racing a bit more than she has and she would need a break at some point.

“But she’s getting better and better and more into it and it’s almost as if she’s getting more sounder with each run.”

Cumani is reluctant to look any further than Monday’s race with Etah James who began her career in April.

He was expecting to turn Etah James out following her win at Caulfield on December 16 but said she came out of the run in excellent order.

“It’s not a good idea to turn out fillies that are in such good shape,” Cumani said.

“We’ll see what she does on Monday and if she was to do super well and come out of it super well then we might see what options we have.

“But I think realistically we would look at giving her some sort of spell, but not a long one.

“She’s a filly that goes well on soft ground and does very well generally.

“She’s still a fraction overweight which is quite amazing so it’s certainly helped spacing her races out and not over training her.”

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