Hugh Bowman rides Alizee to victory in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. Picture: George Salpigtidis/AAP
Hugh Bowman rides Alizee to victory in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. Picture: George Salpigtidis/AAP

Cummings in awe of Alizee’s brute force

JAMES Cummings sounded an ominous warning over Alizee's All-Star Mile prospects after the star mare overcame difficulties to land the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Trapped wide from barrier 11, Alizee ($2.80) staved off late challenges from Malaguerra ($51) and stablemate Hartnell ($16) in a perfect dress rehearsal for the $5 million All-Star Mile on March 16.

"That's probably the toughest I've seen a horse of mine ever win a Group 1 with such passion," Cummings said after Hugh Bowman notched his 87th career Group 1.

"She's just been able to absorb the pressure, she's just a brute of a mare.

 

"They're wonderful qualities and to be able to fend off Group 1 weight-for-age horses. It's a special horse to have in the barn.

"Now she's got that win on the board, I think she's in the form we need to see her on.

"She's in outstanding form going into the All-Star Mile. A couple of weight-for-age wins in a row, she's beating the boys and you can't help but be impressed."

Alizee tightened into $2.80 favouritism with Ladbrokes for the All-Star Mile, with  several other All-Star Mile contenders locked in a blanket finish behind the Sydney mare in a dramatic race.

Material Man, a confirmed starter, was a close ninth.

Emergencies Hartnell (third), Land Of Plenty (fourth), Redkirk Warrior (sixth) and Brave Smash (seventh) all produced cases for inclusion in the final field.

Trainer James Cummings was full of praise for Alizee after her win in the Futurity Stakes. Picture: AAP
Trainer James Cummings was full of praise for Alizee after her win in the Futurity Stakes. Picture: AAP

Cummings said: "There's not much more I can do than get them looking like that and fit and leg a guy like Hugh Bowman on board.

"That's how we get to win Group 1s. It wasn't pretty but I suppose when we look back over it, we'll see the moves she was able to make were the right ones. It's won us the race.

"Yes, she is a beauty. She's just in ripping form, that's four wins straight for her.

"A deserving weight-for-age Group 1 winner. They don't hand them out."

Bowman said: "She's a class animal.

"James has brought her along nice and steady this preparation and she hasn't left a stone unturned, came here today and she certainly lived up to her runs in Sydney.

"We didn't have a great deal of luck from an awkward draw. She had to make her own luck and she sustained a run to the line very well.

"If she has a better run, she'll be more dynamic over a mile."

Star Kiwi mare Melody Belle underlined her wildcard credentials with victory in the Group 1 Haunui Farm (1600m) at Otaki.

The win was Melody Belle's fifth at the highest level.

News Corp Australia


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