FEBRUARY 4, 2024: EDWARD Cummings could easily have started relative newcomer Cosmic Lad in a Super Maiden Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle yesterday.
Instead, the Hawkesbury trainer chose to step the three-year-old son of Cox Plate winner Adelaide up in class for his second start in a Provincial Class 1 Handicap over the same distance at the meeting – and his move produced a super result.
TAB.com.au reported offering $19 in the lead-up to the race before Cosmic Lad firmed to start at $3.90, and stormed to an impressive victory.
Ridden by Jean Van Overmeire, Cosmic Lad settled back in the field from a wide barrier and raced keenly in the middle stages.
But once called on, he quickly gathered in his rivals in the straight and scored by two and three-quarter lengths from Newcastle pair, Paul Perry’s Outback Archie ($12) and Kris Lees’ Ideel Hero ($21).
Cosmic Lad, who was Cummings’ seventh winner of the season, began his career at a Canterbury night meeting on January 19 when, as a $61 rank outsider in a field of seven, he ran a close fourth to another debutante Turned Down in a 2 & 3YO Maiden Handicap (1250m).
He had trialled on three occasions over two preparations last year before trialling twice at Hawkesbury and Rosehill Gardens in December.
“Cosmic Lad didn’t go to the races until he was ready,” Cummings said today.
“Going on times he probably would have won the 1500m Maiden yesterday, but the Class 1 Handicap didn’t look any stronger and it was restricted to provincial horses.”
Cosmic Lad ran 1:29.65 in winning the Class 1, whereas Sunlord clocked 1:30.48 in taking the Super Maiden.
Cummings prepares Cosmic Lad for Graeme Troy and associates, and the gelding’s victory had an indelible link to the trainer’s legendary late grandfather, JB (Bart) Cummings.
The Hall Of Famer bred and trained Cosmic Lad’s dam Halimede (by Starcraft), and also trained his granddam Miss Meliss (by Zabeel).
Halimede’s sole win was in a Wyong Maiden Plate (1600m) in 2016, but she was placed eight times from 14 starts, and Miss Meliss also won only the one race (a Geelong Class 1 Handicap, 2455m in 2002) and was placed four times from 15 starts.
One of those placings was a close second in the Group 2 Saab Quality (2500m) at Flemington later that year, and three days later she ran 10th in Media Puzzle’s Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Meanwhile, Ed Cummings plans to trial his triple Group 1 winner Duais in a couple of weeks as he prepares her for autumn carnival assignments.
Cummings withdrew the six-year-old mare, now owned by Yu Long Investments, from a 900m Group trial on the course proper at Warwick Farm last Tuesday because she had a “bit of heel pain”.