Blinkers On For Drago In Spring Champion Stakes

Trainer Anthony Cummings has confirmed that Drago will wear blinkers for the first time in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Monday.

Drago is searching for the second win of his racing career in the Spring Champion Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Drago is searching for the second win of his racing career in the Spring Champion Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Photo by: Steve Hart

Cummings told Racing Ahead that Drago galloped strongly in blinkers this morning and is hopeful that they will help the son of Danehill Dancer settle a bit closer to the speed in the Group 1 event this weekend.

“He galloped very well in them at Randwick this morning,” Cummings said.

“He sat off a stablemate, picked him up and they worked to the line together.

“Both worked very well and Drago will win blinkers in the Spring Champion Stakes on Saturday.”

Drago finished his juvenile campaign with a four lengths victory in the Juvenile Stayer (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens in May, after finishing fourth in both the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), but is yet to record a win this preparation.

The three-year-old returned to the races with a promising second in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) before finishing ninth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and third in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m).

Drago was bested in the Gloaming Stakes by Spring Stakes winner Savvy Nature, who is the favourite in 2013 Spring Champion Stakes betting market, but Cummings is confident that his galloper is good enough to turn-the-tables this weekend.

“From the gate he had to go back and from the back you take the breaks as they come,” Cummings said.

“Savvy Nature had the drop on him all the way and the result was cast in stone a long way from home.

“He was stepping up from the 1400m to the 1800m while the other horse had a tough run over 1600m in the week leading into it.

“We were well behind in the fitness stacks and the way that the race unfolded it really wasn’t in his favor at all.

“I think he is well capable of turning that result around.”

Cummings is chasing his third victory in the Spring Champion Stakes after previously winning the event with Hotel Grand (2005) and Teranaba (2006).

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.