Tough front runner Vegadaze remains one of the outsiders of the T J Smith Stakes after scoring an all the way win in the Group 3 $160,000 E-Group Security Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill today.
In-form visiting English rider Tom Marquand wrapped up winning double half way through the day when he was able to lead all of the way on Vegadaze who handled the wet ground well.
Vegadaze was dropping back from 1500m last start when sixth in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes at Rosehill a fortnight ago but that proved to be to the four year old’s advantage as he toughed it out down the Rosehill straight on the rain affected surface.
“I think on the testing track such as we’ve found today it is the right time to try it. I do think it is probably closer to his right distance range,” winning trainer Anthony Cummings said.
“I think probably 1400m sees him out these days and 1200m on this sort of ground was very comfortable.”
“It makes a big difference on any sort of rain affected ground. That sort of race fitness is what you are looking for and that is what we had.”
The Anthony Cummings trained Vegadaze ($11) had to do it tough both ends but was able to hold out the James Cummings trained pair of Manicure ($7) and Kementari ($5).
The Gerald Ryan trained Villami was sent out as the $3.80 favourite and after racing in his usual forward position, faded in the straight to to finish sixth.
Vegadaze remains at $101 chance for the Group 1 $2.5m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of the Championships on April 4.
Anthony Cummings has a great rivalry with his son James and said that to see his horse finish in front of the two Godolphin runners was the way it should be.
“It was nice seeing a good horse do really well and nicer to beat two nice horses in the ones James (Cummings) prepared (Manicure & Kementari). Things are what they should be,” Anthony Cummings said.