Bart’s a better bet at Caulfield

Master trainer Bart Cummings and owner Dato Tan Chin Nam are poised for a red-letter day at Caulfield tomorrow.

They will be represented by So You Think (G1 Yalumba Stakes), Kudakulari (G1 Caulfield Guineas), Allez Wonder (G1 Toorak Hcp) and Precedence (G2 Herbert Power Stakes) on the first day of the Melbourne Racing Club carnival.

Cummings claimed his first Yalumba Stakes 40 years ago with Gay Poss and he’s odds-on to win it for the sixth time with So You Think.

The race was known as the Caulfield Stakes when Gay Poss dead-heated with Arctic Symbol in 1970 and Bart returned to win it with Lloyd Boy (1978), Hyperno (1980), Sky Chase (1988) and Shaftesbury Avenue (1991).

So You Think will use the Yalumba as his final lead-up to the Cox Plate on October 23 and jockey Steven Arnold sounded an ominous warning after his last start victory in the G1 Underwood Stakes.  “He’s an awesome horse,” Arnold said.  “And he will come on for that run in the Underwood.”

There’s now talk that Cummings will try to do a Saintly with So You Think and run him in the Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup double and Arnold doesn’t doubt he’s capable of winning both!  “I wouldn’t put it past him.  With four runs under his belt before the Cup, he could just canter along and have a pretty good burst of speed at the finish.”

With Cummings still on the easy list after fracturing a pelvis, Dato Tan Chin Nam’s racing manager Duncan Ramage said a Melbourne Cup start was a possibility.  “Let’s get the Yalumba and Cox Plate out of the way first but I’m not going to second guess Bart.”

So You Think sits atop the Australian Timeform ratings this season at 130.  The last galloper to reach that figure in Australia was Weekend Hussler who rated 130 in the 2008 G1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.

The only horses above them in the last 20 years have been Might And Power (133) and Better Loosen Up (132).

So You Think (4h High Chaparral – Triassic by Tights) was a $110,000 buy for Bart from the Windsor Park draft at the 2008 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale.  He is the sixth and by far the best winner for Triassic who was a G2 winner of the Sir Tristram Classic in NZ.

PENCARROW STUD’S ongoing success its mares continued when Herculian Prince won the G1 Metropolitan at Randwick last Saturday and the Vela brothers can double up when Kudakulari lines up in the G1 Caulfield Guineas this Saturday.

Kudakulari (3c Savabeel – Oenotria by O’Reilly) cost Bart Cummings $140,000 at the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale.  He is closely related to the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winners Dorabella (Postponed) and Insouciant (Keeper).

He won the Listed AJC Fernhill Stakes at Randwick during the autumn carnival but suffered a setback first-up this season when unplaced in the Run To The Rose.  A post race vet examination revealed the colt was suffering from cardiac arrhythmia but he’s back on deck and appeals as a great each-way chance in the Caulfield Guineas on the way to his main mission in the G1 Victoria Derby.

Kudakulari – which is Indonesian for “fast horse” – will have his work cut out beating Toorak Toff (Show A Heart) and Ilovethiscity (Magic Albert) in the Guineas but coupling him with the favourites in novelties could pay dividends for Bart’s followers.

Cummings won his first Caulfield Guineas with Storm Queen in 1966.  The filly was owned by Bart’s brother Pat and it was her second Group 1 that year after a last-gasp victory in the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes.

The total has since increased to five courtesy of Kenmark (1974), Alfa (1996), God’s Own (2005) and Wonderful World (2006).

ALLEZ WONDER will defend her G1 Toorak Hcp crown tomorrow.  The Cummings trained mare caused a $41 boilover in the 2009 Toorak and she will again go out at big odds in this year’s edition.

Allez Wonder (5m Redoute’s Choice – Luna Tudor by Military Plume) has been unplaced in seven runs since she bloused out Gold Salute and Rock Kingdom 12 months ago but, more importantly, she has come through a similar preparation this season.

She is by Arrowfield’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice from the Military Plume mare Luna Tudor who was a G2 Perth Cup winner for WA Queen’s Counsel Ron Davies.  

Allez Wonder is a $600,000 graduate from the 2007 NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale and she is raced in partnership by Su-Ann Khaw and Dato Tan Chin Nam.  The Khaw family owned Bart’s 1999 Epsom Handicap winner Allez Suez.

Allez Wonder will never be a pin-up horse for punters but her main claim to fame is the company she keeps.  Cummings has only trained two other Toorak winners – Galilee (1966) and Leilani (1974).

PRECEDENCE will be gunning for a Group 2 get-out in the Herbert Power Hcp this Saturday to ensure he qualifies for a start in the Caulfield Cup.  A win will see him join stablemates Faint Perfume and Dariana in the line-up on Saturday week.

Cummings won his seventh Caulfield Cup last year with the ill-fated Scenic gelding Viewed.  

Precedence (5g Zabeel – Kowtow by Shadeed) is a last start winner of the G3 JRA Cup at Mooney Valley and Bart’s Melbourne foreman Reg Fleming rates him as the stable’s best chance in the Caulfield Cup.  “He has always been a good horse,” Fleming said. “If he settles the sky’s the limit.  He won the Manion Cup in March but then pulled himself into the ground in the Sydney Cup.  He should have lapped them.”

Precedence was bought out of the Bloomsbury Stud draft for $180,000 at the 2007 NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale.  He hails from a long line of Group 1 winning stayers in Europe.  He is also closely related to 2009-10 Champion NZ Sprinter (Lord) Tavistock (Montjeu).

Dato Tan Chin Nam owns him in partnership with Sir Patrick Hogan and the Duchess Of Bedford.