Nobel Heights aims to go back-to-back at Flemington

Trainer Matt Cumani is besotted with Nobel Heights saying if he was ever to get a painting of a horse it would be of the son of Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.

To date Nobel Heights has not lived up to the lofty heights of his sire, but to his credit he has amassed a more than handy record of figuring in the money on 12 occasions from his 18 starts, including five wins.

After a win over 2000m at Flemington on February 18, Nobel Heights returns to that track for the Australian Cup Prelude (2000m) on Saturday.

Cumani does not have plans of contesting the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 25, but he could be back for the Listed The Roy Higgins (2600m) that day or hold off for a tilt at the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) next month.

Nobel Heights has shown staying promise from the outset and as a three-year-old finished third in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m).

But the now five-year-old has been a slow maturer, and ran four consecutive placings over a trip before being freshened to score at Flemington.

Cumani was surprised by the speed Nobel Heights showed last time but concedes the 2000m on Saturday is likely to be too short with the rise in grade.

“Interestingly, while we’ve thought of him as a momentum galloper if you look at his sectionals you can see he has put in some fast ones and accelerates quite well,” Cumani said.

“It is surprising given the horse he is, being by Fiorente. I’d like to think that is all ability and once he can put it altogether, hopefully he’ll show himself to be top class over a longer distance.

“After the Bagot we freshened him up and I don’t know if it was that or the drop in class that made him look speedier last time.

“I feel those seconds he had, while not against the top stayers, he was a bit unlucky.

“He’s quite versatile. He can go forward or sit back, but when we’ve gone forward the pace was too strong and when he’s gone back the pace was too slow.

“Hopefully it’s just right again on Saturday.”

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