Golden Slipper 2021: This race more than any race ‘moves the needle on breeding industry’

James Cummings covets the Golden Slipper with a zeal that borders on religious fervour.

The Godolphin trainer gave an insight into just what this race means to him by revealing a telling conversation he had with one of his stable staff earlier this week.

“My foreman said to me the other day this is just a race,’’ Cummings said.

“I said it is not just a race. I told him I’ve given up swearing for lent and you are testing me like 40 days and 40 nights in a desert, my friend.

“I said you need to concentrate on this race. He asked me what is it with horse trainers and the Golden Slipper? I just said there can be no more important race.’’

At Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, Cummings is chasing his second win in the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) with talented colts Anamoe and Ingratiating.

Cummings prepared the Slipper quinella two years ago with Kiamichi and Microphone and the trainer wants to experience again the sheer exhilaration he felt after winning the world’s richest two-year-old race.

Ingratiating, ridden by Damien Oliver, wins the Talindert Stakes at Flemington.Source:Getty Images

“I won two Group 1 races that day and I don’t remember the other one,’’ Cummings said. He also won the Ranvet Stakes with Avilius. “But I won a major, say no more.’’

Cummings grew up in Australian racing’s most famous family and quickly gained an appreciation of the Golden Slipper’s significance.

But his earliest Slipper memory was one of disappointment when his father, Anthony’s filly, Ballybleue, was forced out of the race in 2004 with a rare condition.

“Ballybleue contracted mastitis and had to miss the Golden Slipper,’’ Cummings revealed.

“She was a good horse and had won the Silver Slipper earlier that autumn. I remember that win well as I was deep into the third set in a game of tennis on a Saturday afternoon with Mum watching me from her car.

“For the first two sets, she was cheering me on but in the third set she was listening to the Silver Slipper and cheering for Ballybleue. I had to win that match as I thought Mum was cheering for me!”

Cummings said Godolphin’s worldwide racing and breeding operation has the Golden Slipper high on their wish list every year.

“The legend of the Golden Slipper seems to grow each year,’’ Cummings said.

“You get to appreciate how this race more than any race moves the ‘needle’ and the impact it has on our breeding industry. It is so closely correlated to the very building blocks of our racing stable.

Anamoe takes out the Todman Stakes from Profiteer at Royal Randwick.Source:Getty Images

“For Godolphin, I repeat there is simply no more important race for these two colts, Anamoe and Ingratiating, to ever run in again.

“From the moment these horses are born, we set out to achieve this. We nominated them from the get go.

“They are aspiring to be good enough to take their place in the field, they are aspiring to be Golden Slipper winners. That is why we nominated them — we are dreaming big.’’

Ingratiating and Anamoe, minor placegetters in the Blue Diamond won by Artorius, are at $17 in early TAB Fixed Odds betting on the Golden Slipper.

Anamoe goes into the big race after his impressive win in the Todman Stakes while Ingratiating has the blinkers back on after running on late for fifth in the Pago Pago Stakes last week.

Cummings admits he’s unsure how Anamoe and Ingratiating will handle the expected heavy track conditions but isn’t letting that “dampen” his enthusiasm on Slipper Eve.

“Apart from Stay Inside who will be relishing the prospect of a heavy track, it is an unknown for our colts as it is most of the Slipper field,’’ he said.

‘But they are out of mares (Ingratiating’s dam Obsequious and Anamoe’s dam Anamato) who were Group race winners on soft 7 tracks.

“So they are as good a chance of handling the wet conditions as any other horse I have in the stable who hasn’t experienced a heavy track before.

Cummings says he’s unsure how Anamoe and Ingratiating will handle the expected heavy track conditions.Source:Getty Images

“Ingratiating and Anamoe are fast colts, they are sound and they have excellent temperaments.

“From our perspective, we have done with them what we can to have them at their best for the Golden Slipper.’’

The Cummings stable has a strong presence on Slipper Day with Group 1 hopefuls Tailleur in the $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m) and imports Avilius and Cascadian in the $700,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).

Tailleur, winner of six races (and two seconds) from just eight starts, comes off a Group 3 Triscay Stakes win and leaps into a Group 1 contest.

But Cummings believes the handicap conditions which has Tailleur on the limit of 51kg — and the wet track — gives the talented mare her chance in The Galaxy.

“She is down in the weights, she is in perfectly at the handicaps,’’ Cummings said.

“The draw suits her and she should not be far from them early. I really like the set up for her.

“But it is high quality opposition with a top class sprinting mare like Haut Brion Her, Eduardo beat Nature Strip last start, Wild Ruler was very good in a fast race last start and will be well suited.,

“It’s a proper Group 1 Galaxy but I feel Tailleur is arriving here at the right time to be taking full advantage of the race at the weights.’’

Avilius won on Slipper Day two years ago in the Ranvet Stakes at 2000m but Cummings has kept the stable stalwart on the fresh side this autumn campaign and he will line up in the shorter George Ryder over 1500m.

“The prospect of a wet track brings Avilius right into it,’’ the Godolphin trainer said.

“It will be a testing 1500m, not a sprinting 1500m, and he can be the type of horse that still has plenty to offer striking these wet tracks over autumn.’’

Cascadian is not as well suited at weight-for-age but he is very good on wet tracks which brings him into Ryder contention.

Mugatoo owner ambassador Matt Forys visits the 2021 All-Star Mile champion after taking home a life-changing $250,000 thanks to the horse’s big win at The Valley. Video courte…

Mugatoo owner ambassador Matt Forys visits the 2021 All-Star Mile champion after taking home a life-changing $250,000 thanks to the horse’s big win at The Valley. Video courtesy Racing Victoria.

Cummings also provided an update on stable stars Colette and Bivouac, indicating both are pleasing him despite unplaced last start runs.

“Colette is going to the Tancred Stakes next week,’’ Cummings said of the mare who ran fourth in the Sky High Stakes behind Toffee Tongue last Saturday.

“She pulled up beautifully at the track this morning and it won’t be a disservice to her to strike a wet track that is beaten up a bit next weekend.

“I’m really delighted with Bivouac. He has tightened up well since the Canterbury Stakes (fourth to Savatiano) and he is ready to run a big race in the TJ Smith Stakes.’’

Originally published asReal reason why Cummings covets the Slipper like no other

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