Cascadian lands a second Group 1 Australian Cup

Trainer James Cummings and jockey Ben Melham have combined to claim back-to-back victories in the Australian Cup at Flemington.

Like he did 12 months ago, Godolphin galloper Cascadian backed up from a placing in the All-Star Mile (1600m) to claim to the Group 1 2000m weight-for-age contest on Saturday.

Cascadian ($7.50) wore down the leader Pride Of Jenni ($3.60) to score by a half-head with Atishu ($4.80) a further 1-¾ lengths away third.

Melham said his confidence grew in Cascadian when he paraded the nine-year-old on his way to the barrier.

“I tell you what, if I could ever declare a horse on the way to the barrier, this is him,” Melham said.

“He couldn’t have been in better order which gave me the confidence to ride him like I wanted to.

“He loves pinching runs and sneaking around the place and to see horses his age still beating the best horses in the land, at this trip, is phenomenal to see.

“It’s a massive feat for him to win two in a row.”

Cascadian followed the deeds of Harlem in 2018 & 2019 to land back-to-back victories in the Australian Cup.

Cummings’ assistant trainer Nacim Delmi said the Godolphin team knew tactics would be tricky with Pride Of Jenni engaged in the race.

Pride Of Jenni was given time to find the lead before gradually increasing the tempo from the 800m mark, leading by five lengths turning for home.

The Ciaron Maher-trained mare was still three lengths in front at 300m mark and wasn’t grabbed until the shadows of the post.

“We knew tactics were going to be tricky obviously with Pride Of Jenni over the 2000 metres and Declan (Bates) rode a great race,” Delmi said.

“But the tempo suited him (Cascadian) perfectly. When they came up to the top of the straight and he was travelling we knew he was going to give it a good shake.

“Once he peeled out and Ben Melham timed it perfectly, it was great.”

Delmi said Cascadian was an easy horse to deal with and seemed to be getting better with age.

“He (officially) turned nine on Tuesday,” Delmi said.

“He carries on like a young horse and he’s still got so much racing in him.

“He’s just such a good horse to have in the stables. You’d love to have ten of him in the stables.”

About RS NewsWire

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