Conditions ripe for Colette in Group One

James Cummings is confident the race and track conditions set up for emerging star Colette to replicate her first-up performance in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes.

The mare snuck under the guard of punters when she cruised to victory as a $12 chance in the Apollo Stakes two weeks ago.

She meets a similar field at Randwick on Saturday and with the track again set to be rain-affected, trainer James Cummings sees no reason Colette can't assert her dominance.

"Track and weather forecasts suggest she will have similar conditions to those she enjoyed in her impressive first-up victory," Cummings said.

"She meets similar opposition on Saturday, she is fit and healthy, and steps up to the mile."

"We are hopeful of a repeat performance."

Bookmakers have taken few risks with Colette, marking her a $3.30 second pick with TAB fixed odds on Friday, behind only Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant ($2.60), who will be out to exact revenge for her Apollo Stakes defeat.

Godolphin have selected the Chipping Norton as a campaign starting point for stable warrior Avilius, who has not raced since finishing fifth in the Sandown Classic in November.

Like Colette, the seven-year-old also enjoys soft conditions and Cummings says he continues to show a zest for competition.

"We are looking forward to his return to racing. His latest barrier trial suggested he still has plenty to offer and he has generally run well first-up," he said.

Up-and-coming Godolphin four-year-old Criaderas will also be in action at Randwick when he returns in the Liverpool City Cup.

An unlucky third to Greysful Glamour in the Villiers Stakes over the summer, Criaderas has won four of his eight starts and is on a path towards the Doncaster Mile.

"He is resuming after a couple of outstanding, but luckless efforts last preparation," Cummings said.

"There is no doubting his potential and the break and recent trial augers well for his return to the track."

Fresh from a four-winner haul at Rosehill last weekend, Rachel King will ride Criaderas and Colette for Godolphin, along with stablemates Thermosphere in the Surround Stakes and Sliders in the Sweet Embrace Stakes.

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