James Cummings is hoping talented mare Ghisoni can win for the first time in almost two years when she represents the stable in the Group Three Godolphin Crown.
The five-year-old is second-up into one of the feature races at Saturday’s stand-alone meeting at Hawkesbury with Godolphin head trainer Cummings encouraged by sixth in the Group Two Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 7 when she was beaten less than three lengths.
Lightly raced Ghisoni has not won since the Group Three Glenlogan Park Stakes (1400m) at Doomben in May, 2016.
After winning her first three starts, including the Group Two Surround Stakes, Ghisoni was rated among Australia’s most talented three-year-old fillies.
A series of injury setbacks intervened to limit Ghisoni to just five starts since her last victory.
Ghisoni has had four starts since Cummings succeeded John O’Shea at Godolphin last year, with a let-up or spell following each run until this weekend.
“She looks like she has thrived after the first-up run in the Sapphire Stakes,” Cummings said.
“Although she meets pretty talented mares like White Moss here second-up, I think she can improve significantly enough to be very competitive in a suitable race.
“Godolphin is showing good faith by supporting the local community so it would be a great race to win with a mare of her calibre.”
Ghisoni was a $10 chance with the TAB on Thursday in a market led by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Sedanzer ($4).
Cummings hopes a step back in distance will also enable Beau Geste ($9.50) to end a seven-race losing streak in the Group Three Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) after his sixth in the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).
“He’s going to be a little better suited at the shorter trip where he can just travel a little bit more comfortably. He also tends to be a little more relaxed closer to home,” Cummings said.
Duca Valentinois returns in the Group Three Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) after finishing seventh in the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill on March 31.
“The horse has enjoyed a bit of a gap between runs and we feel he is starting to get to his peak fitness now,” Cummings said.