Star filly Libertini carries the weight of expectation into the Furious Stakes at Randwick.
Trainers use different sorts of measures to judge the wellness of a horse and for Anthony Cummings, it involves sticking his head in a bin.
Cummings reckons the best way to know how well a horse is coping is to check their feed bin and he has been almost religiously stopping by Libertini’s stable since her Silver Shadow Stakes win, making sure the boom filly has not left an oat.
Libertini ran the Randwick 1200 metre trip in a sizzling 1:07.93 and while she appeared to do it effortlessly, Cummings knows looks can be deceiving.
“She was obviously fit first-up and when they run those sorts of times, even though they look to do it comfortably, it’s still fast,” Cummings said.
“The issue then becomes, can they repeat it second up?
“Usually the best guide is the feed bin and she came home and licked the bin clean that night and every night since so if that’s the indicator, we’re going pretty good.”
Such was the routine nature of Libertini’s first-up win, she is at Winx-like odds of $1.18 to claim the second leg of the four-race Princess Series, Saturday’s Group Two Furious Stakes (1200m).
She is even being touted as a wildcard for the $14 million The Everest, although Cummings says he has not received any official interest from slot holders.
His sole focus has been on getting her to Randwick fit and well and while her quote indicates she is virtually unbeatable, Cummings cannot indulge that thought, especially given her rivals include Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi and the unknown quantity of New Zealand visitor Probabeel.
“You’ve always got to respect your opposition,” Cummings said.
“They’re all there because they’ve made their own mark in some shape or form and you’ve got to give due respect to that, otherwise you get your pants pulled down.
“But her work has been good, there’s no issues, no hang-ups, nothing. We’re just hanging around waiting for Saturday.”
Cummings is also keen to see how Baller acquits himself in the Sydney Markets Handicap (1200m).
The stable has a lofty opinion of the sprinter, although he is yet to reach the heights expected.
The four-year-old tracked the speed and loomed up to make a race of it in the Show County Quality before his condition gave out, but there will be no excuses this weekend.
“There’s a couple of horses there going somewhere but if he’s going to live up to the wraps and be the horse we hope he is then he’s really got to put his hand up,” Cummings said.
Stablemate and Group One J J Atkins winner Prince Fawaz will also be in action at Randwick when he has an exhibition gallop after the first race, ahead of his return in The Run To The Rose (1200m) seven days later.