James Cummings is hoping a return to a handicap can deliver Cascadian’s first Group One win when he starts in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
At his two runs this time in, Cascadian has finished fourth in consecutive weight-for-age races over 1400m at Caulfield, firstly in the Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes and then the Group One Memsie Stakes.
Each time Cascadian settled well back and ran home strongly.
Cummings is hoping that it will prove the perfect preparation for the six-year-old gelding as he again tackles that track and distance.
“He should be close to peak fitness after two good efforts at weight-for-age and he might have got the knack of Caulfield by now,” Cummings said.
Cummings said the former French galloper had promised quite a bit and now had the chance to live up to his potential.
“I think he has to lift to be competitive here, but I believe he can do that,” he said.
Cummings also has his eyes on the Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield on October 10 for Cascadian.
“As a handicap, this race should be easier and it might lead the way to a winnable Toorak Handicap,” Cummings said.
If Cascadian wins on Saturday, Cummings will be the third generation of his family to have success in the race as his grandfather Bart Cummings won it four times and his father Anthony was victorious with Turffontein in 2009.
In an added bonus, Cascadian will be ridden by Damien Oliver who has won six Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, the most of any jockey.
He hasn’t been successful since 2008 when he scored on Orange County.
Oliver has ridden Cascadian in his two lead-in runs.
His owners Godolphin won the race two years ago with the Charlie Appleby-trained Jungle Cat.