The James Cummings trained trio of Trekking, Home Of The Brave and Viridine are all in fine shape heading into Saturday’s Group 1 $1m Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth.

Trekking, above, is one of three runners for trainer James Cummings in the 2019 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Trekking, above, is one of three runners for trainer James Cummings in the 2019 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Trekking has the best lead up form of the three Godolphin sprinters with a win three starts back in the Group 2 $400,000 Alpha Romeo Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on October 12 followed by a third behind Yes Yes Yes in the $14m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick a week later.

The five year old followed that up with a second in the $11m Redzel Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on November 2 and stable representative Sean Keogh reported that Trekking is a seasoned traveller and has settled into his new surrounding in Perth without a worry.

“The horse has settled in beautifully since arriving,” Keogh told The Races WA.

“James has kept the freshness in his legs for the sprinting distances this prep. He is stepping back from 1300m to six furlongs on Saturday.”

“The horse is well used to travelling and he won the Schillaci to get his ticket into The Everest. That was a back up and a float trip back to Sydney and he copped that pretty good, running a slashing third in The Everest.”

“So he has copped the travel pretty good.”

Keogh said that Trekking cruised through his early morning gallop today and is in fine shape for Saturday’s Winterbottom Stakes.

“The horses just did a 1000m gallop this morning. He is a month in between runs and he comes here from Melbourne after having a soft trial there and we have Kerrin McEvoy aboard and very happy with the horse.”

Home Of The Brave will have no fitness worries as he lines up for his sixth run this campaign and is coming off a last start nose second in the Group 3 $160,000 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown last Saturday.

“He will be sixth up on Saturday and we are very happy where his fitness is at. Very happy with the way he has come through the run,” Keogh said.

Viridine is facing a huge rise in class after winning the Listed $140,000 Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown last Saturday but Keogh said that the five year old won’t be out of place in the weight for age Group 1 sprint.

“It was a bit of a drop in grade back to Listed level and he did that nicely. The second horse he was giving 4kg to so he has the credentials of a Group 1 horse and he has some good weight for age form previously and we are very happy with his form coming into the race,” he said.

“Both Viridine and Trekking worked very well this morning. Very happy with the way they are going into the weekend.”

Kerrin McEvoy will ride Trekking again, Damian Lane has retained the mount on Home Of The Brave and Damien Oliver takes over from Craig Williams on Viridine.

Trekking has been installed as the $3 favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au while Home Of The Brave and Viridine are both marked as $15 chances.

Betting for the 2019 Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 Trekking, $5.50 Flirtini, $6.50 Vital Silver, $8 Hey Doc, $10 Valour Road, $12 Stageman, $14 Dubious, $15 Endless Drama, Home Of The Brave, Viridine, $19 Malaguerra, $26 Misty Metal, Rock Magic, $31 Spirit Of Valor, $81 Durendal.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.