James Cummings has celebrated his first Group One win for Godolphin since becoming head trainer.
Three months into his tenure as Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia, James Cummings has celebrated a milestone Group One victory with Alizee in the Flight Stakes at Randwick.
A sister to Group One winner Astern, Alizee lived up to her $2.90 favouritism to take out Saturday’s Flight Stakes (1600m) on Saturday under a measured ride from veteran Glyn Schofield.
Last turning for home, Alizee sustained a long run to beat the gallant Champagne Cuddles ($3.80) by 2-1/4 lengths, with an identical margin to Cellargirl ($10).
Cummings deflected praise to the staff at Godolphin.
“It has been a big team effort for this filly. What we worked on more and more throughout the preparation was to treat her more and more like a normal horse,” Cummings said.
“She had a perfect preparation to peak in the grand final and full credit goes to all the staff.
“She is a product of Sheikh Mohammed’s stallion Sepoy and generations of good families.
“Good horses have come through her dam-line.”
Among those good horses is Alizee’s fourth dam, 1990 Flight Stakes winner Triscay, who went on to win the Australian and Queensland Oaks the following year.
Cummings said he was uncertain whether Alizee would go much further into the spring or wait for the new year.
“It’s tempting but we’ve learned the lessons of the past,” he said.
“If she shows us any signs of not wanting to go on we’ll put her straight out and concentrate on the autumn. She has a good future ahead of her.”
Cummings said her relationship with Schofield was also a defining factor in the win.
“It took a great ride from Glyn, who gels with the horse,” he said.
“She comes at them with such a sprint there was no stopping her. It was soft in the end.”
Schofield said the filly gave him confidence.
“She’s got a turn of speed second to none at the end of her race,” Schofield said.
“We had a chat before the race and our plan was definitely to be negative early on.
“If there was any doubts about the mile we were going to make sure she was switched off and relaxed because once you let her go you saw what she can do.”
Champagne Cuddles will now go for a break after racing three Saturdays in a row, including her second last week to Trapeze Artist in the Group One Golden Rose.
“She has done a super job,” trainer Bjorn Baker said.
“She is tough but she has earned a break now.”
Cummings has the chance to add another Group One win this weekend, with Hartnell the favourite for Sunday’s Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.No tags for this post.