Extra week helpful for Cascadian in the Australian Cup

Cascadian won last year’s Australian Cup on the back-up from the All-Star Mile, but James Cummings is happy the imported gelding has an extra week between the two races this year.

The nine-year-old will look to become just the third back-to-back winner of the race at weight-for-age when he runs in the 2000-metre contest at Flemington this Saturday.

Cascadian heads in off a third placing in the All-Star Mile, the race he ran second in last year, which is one of only four starts this season and Cummings is happy he has extra time to get over the testing 1600m event at Caulfield on March 16.

“Probably this year it’s an advantage, given that I’ve raced him so sparingly in the last 12 months,” Cummings said of the two-week gap.

“Just that little bit more time to get over the All-Star Mile is ideal.

“Last year he was just booming that week and with clear running we just couldn’t see him being held back and he flooded home.

“This time, given he only had the one run (in spring), we’ve just taken our time with him.”

Cascadian’s only appearance last spring was in the Giga Kick Stakes on November 4, while his efforts so far in 2024 are a ninth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), fourth in the Group 1 Verry Elleegant Stakes (1600m) before the All-Star Mile.

The son of New Approach is one of 12 nominations for the $3 million Australian Cup, alongside Pride Of Jenni and Mr Brightside, the two horses who beat him home in the All-Star Mile.

Star Kiwi mare Legarto, Champions Stakes winner Atishu and Victoria Derby winner Riff Rocket, who won last Saturday’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas in Sydney, have also been entered.

“Cascadian’s had a good week since the All-Star Mile,” Cummings said.

“His effort to finish third was very solid, he’s just racing so well, and the step up to 10 furlongs looks good now he’s had the right grounding.”

Harlem (2018/19) is the most recent horse to win consecutive Australian Cups, with Vo Rogue the only other to have done so since it settled as a weight-for-age race in 1987.

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