Trainer James Cummings happy with decision to steer Shamalia wide of Galaxy

James Cummings came within a whisker of changing tack for group 1 Galaxy earlier this week, but Shamalia’s co-trainer wasn’t upset with the “small fish” consolation prize of the Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
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Shamalia whizzed past last year’s Golden Slipper winner Mossfun in the final furlong to win the group 3 event by two lengths.

“I did go close [to aiming her at the Galaxy], but I wasn’t going get a run,” Cummings said.

“If Kuro was struggling to get a run, then we were always going to struggle. [But] small fish make sweet eating and we came here very confident she would run well. She was ridden off the speed even though there wasn’t much speed on paper and she exploded late.”

Hugh Bowman settled Shamalia near the tail of the field and quickly wheeled her to the centre of the track in a perfect preparation for the Sapphire Stakes on the second day of The Championships.

“I was a little bit concerned with the speed map, but we didn’t go out there to reinvent the wheel,” Bowman said. Mossfun’s rider Tommy Berry said his mount was “disappointing and just didn’t let down at all”.

Scratching the itch to win

Mick Kent targeted the Epona Stakes with Scratchy Bottom and finally got the result he wanted in the group 3.

Kent had watched Epingle place in the Epona for the past two years but Craig Williams delivered Scratchy Bottom in time to beat odds-on favourite Rising Romance.

Kent, who was questioned by stewards over the improved performance of Scratchy Bottom, is looking at the big picture with his staying mare.

“She needs a mile-and-a-half and finding the right race for her has been tough,” Kent said.

“We might have a go at the Chairmans [Quality] but there are more races for her in the spring at the right sort of distance. As you saw she was very strong through the line.”

Williams thought he would run second 100 metres out until Scratchy Bottom let down into another gear.

“The more I asked, the lower she got and the harder she tried,” Williams said.

James McDonald said he felt the winner coming on the inside of Rising Romance but she couldn’t respond and backing up in the BMW for the Caulfield Cup runner-up would be in doubt.

“Disappointing. If she is going to take on a BMW field she will need to do better than that,” he said.

Buick cops a spray

One of two visiting European-based Godolphin riders for Golden Slipper Day, William Buick, copped a stern rebuke from chief steward Ray Murrihy after he slugged the jockey $400 for weighing one kilogram overweight after the Epona Stakes.

Buick said he had a “swig” of drink in between weighing out and riding in the group 3 fillies and mares race, while also crediting a saturated “pad” from his mount sweating for the gain.

He weighed out 55.4kg and returned at 56kg – a kilogram more than Entertains was supposed to carry in the race allowing for Buick’s vest allowance.

“You’re bordering on a suspension,” Murrihy reminded Buick, who was also spoken to about a similar issue on Coolmore Classic day.

“I don’t know what the score is elsewhere, but come in here and tell us how it is. Telling us your horse is sweating when it’s 22 degrees outside just won’t wash.”

Entertains finished eighth, but only two lengths from the winner Scratchy Bottom.

Quinton gets a thrill

Four-time Golden Slipper-winning jockey Ron Quinton is no stranger to success on Sydney’s signature day as a rider, but he perhaps got just as big a thrill out of Peeping’s win in the listed Sebring Stakes.

“You never forget [those Slipper wins],” Quinton said.

“From the first time I saw her I told the owner Tom Kelly, ‘this is a racehorse’. She’s come a long way in a short time.”

Quinton has placed his faith in former apprentice Sam Clipperton and the emerging senior rider gave Peeping a peach of a ride, avoiding the early scrimmage caused by Music Magnate, which was described by Murrihy as “some of the worst interference you will see in a race”, before outgunning the same horse by a neck in the drive to the finish.

“It’s a great thrill to get a winner on Slipper day, especially for Ron,” Clipperton said. After beating the boys, Peeping will return to her own sex in the PJ Bell Stakes at The Championships in a fortnight.

Punters in the dark

With much fanfare, the Australian Turf Club announced it was going to return Golden Slipper day to its former glory but it managed to leave stewards and punters in the dark for the first couple of races.

The usual replays on the replay channel following races weren’t available leaving the owners of the Epona Stakes winner Scratchy Bottom searching for their mobile phones to try relive her win.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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