WEDNESDAY: December 7, 2022: TRAINERS naturally like their horses to draw well as a rule.
But as far as Edward Cummings is concerned, Italian Informant is an exception.
Barrier dramas have plagued the four-year-old’s career, but an outside draw proved a blessing today as he powered to an impressive victory in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Italian Informant ($9.50) relished the fast pace and surged down the outside to defeat Miss Fox ($12) and With Your Blessing ($3.30) to post the second success of his 12-start career.
“Italian Informant has reared up in the barrier stalls a couple of times and flipped over,” Cummings said this evening.
“Drawing the outside today suited as he didn’t have to stand in the stalls too long.
“There’s no point giving him barrier practice as it would only make things worse.
“There’s no doubt he has talent, and likes high pressure in his races as happened today.
“We’ll look for another suitable race for him in the coming weeks. It’s the right time of the year to chase more wins.”
Italian Informant has twice incurred suspensions from RacingNSW stewards because of his barrier antics, and also drew wide when he broke through for his first win in a 1000m Wyong Maiden nearly 12 months ago (on January 8 this year).
He resumed with a strong-finishing second to Mabel in a Conditional Open Handicap (1000m) at Hawkesbury on November 9 when he drew the outside barrier in a field of five.
A gelded son of ill-fated Spill The Beans, Italian Informant continued his Hawkesbury trainer’s excellent run of form in recent weeks.
From his last eight starters, Cummings has prepared two winners (Strait Acer scored on the Kensington track last Friday) and four seconds.
He has another talented member of his team ready to resume, but is yet to decide whether Sunborn lines up at Canterbury on Friday night or Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Apprentice Dylan Gibbons, who partnered Italian Informant in his Wyong win, has been booked for the four-times winner in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury, whilst Rachel King will be aboard if Cummings chooses to wait for a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.
Sunborn has drawn well at both venues.
. Italian Informant was Hawkesbury’s 73rd winner so far this season; 15 more than at the same stage last year when Brad Widdup scored with Authentic Jewel at the corresponding Warwick Farm meeting.