Cummings and King set to rule at Randwick
If the bullish attitude of James Cummings is anything to go by, Namazu could be poised to produce a Bondi Stakes upset.
The colt, a son of Godolphin’s 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake, broke his maiden in stylish fashion last start when he came from last on the turn to score at Canterbury.
That was his sixth race start and Cummings says the three-year-old is on an upward trajectory.
Namazu will need to rise to another level when he takes on the likes of Group Two winner Peltzer in the $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) on Saturday but Cummings has seen enough to be convinced the colt deserves a chance.
“He’s a rapidly improving, 600 kilogram ball of muscle,” Cummings said.
“The earth moved when he worked on Tuesday.”
Namazu will be partnered by Rachel King, who is Godolphin’s go-to jockey at Randwick.
She will don the royal blue silks in six of the nine races and four of her Godolphin rides are early favourites, including the exciting Criaderas in the Robrick Lodge Filante Handicap (1400m).
Cummings and King are also expected to feature when they team with Destination in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) after the horse put the writing on the wall with a last-start second to the highly-regarded Wild Ruler.
“You have to be impressed with the form he brings to this Brian Crowley and at trackwork between runs he has been brimming with confidence,” Cummings said.
Kris Lees is hoping he can spoil the Godolphin party with The Bopper, who lines up in the Brian Crowley after suffering his first defeat in three starts when narrowly denied at Canterbury against older horses.
Lees was planning on following a more conservative program but after seeing Saturday’s field, he decided to roll the dice.
“It looks an open three-year-old race. I think there are a number of chances and he’s one of them,” Lees said.
“I wasn’t in any rush to try him at stakes level but he’s not out of his depth here looking at the benchmarks of the opposition, so it’s the right time to give him this opportunity.”
Both Cummings and Lees hold strong hands in the Group Three Nivison (1200m), Godolphin with favourite Athiri while Lees will saddle up three mares, including second elect Wandabaa.
The Newcastle trainer is predicting a form reversal from Attention Run in the City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) after an uncharacteristic flop in the Metropolitan Handicap.
“It’s a small field so she should get a nice run midfield from the draw and any rain would enhance her chances,” Lees said.