Randwick trainer Anthony Cummings has being taking all before him with juvenile races over the past weeks and Saturday proved to be no exception with wins in two states.
Ninth Legion and Peter Robl (yellow) catch Eight Straight and Brad Rawiller (red), picture Sportpix.com.au
First Clinking won the Jim Conway Handicap (1200m) at Sandown-Lakeside, and then moments later Ninth Legion took out the $70,000, Regupol Equine Safety Surfaces 2YO Handicap (1400m).
Ninth Legion (57.5kg) under Peter Robl was winning for the second time in succession from as many race starts after debuting at Canterbury on May 23rd. He might now be on the way to Brisbane for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm next Saturday.
Robl was patient with the colt, another of the progeny of leading sire Fastnet Rock, as the $1.80 favourite Betrayal (58.5kg) and Tommy Berry went straight to the lead followed by Eight Straight (56.5kg) and Brad Rawiller and Queen’s Elect (53kg) and apprentice Chad Schofield. Ninth Legion was fifth.
With 400m to run Eight Straight went up to challenge the leader who felt the pinch almost immediately after they went past the 300m mark. Eight Straight took a lead and looked likely to take the race, but Robl had improved is position with Ninth Legion to challenge.
It took until the final 10m but Ninth Legion wound up well to take over in the final strides and win with a long neck over Eight Straight (Lonhro) who was finishing second again after two race starts.
Queen’s Elect (Holy Roman Emperor) was third, the margin 2 3/4L. The time was 1.23.75.
“I will have a chat to Peter and see how he pulls up, but certainly he has ticked all the boxes so far to get on a float in a week and have a go at the Group 1,” said Cummings.
“He is a nice horse and he presented well today and he still had plenty of condition on him, and he would have tightened up again in the run. He gets you out of your chair and I think he is a pretty exciting horse.
“Things are going well. It is nice to have a run of luck and hopefully it continues. We have some nice horse in the stable at the moment and we have support from all the right people and it is paying off really,” he said.
Cummings explained that Ninth Legion had not been an expensive yearling as the colt was likely to take time to mature and the market tends to mark down such yearlings.
“He is turning out to be quite a nice buy and I paid $110,000, so he has just about got the money back now with the BOBS bonuses, so we are in good shape, and a good chance in a Group 1 in a week’s time,” he said.
“He is a very nice horse and he has still got a lot to learn when travelling as he takes all day to get there. But he know where the line is and that will stand him in good stead in the future,” said Robl.
Ninth Legion is owned by Keith Maloney’s Segenhoe Thoroughbreds Australia. He is out of the Xaar mare Xaar’s Jewell and the two wins have earned stakes of $89,550.
TAB Sportsbet immediately dropped Ninth Legion’s market price for the TJ Smith Stakes from $41 into $10, while Eagle Farm winner of the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Sizzling, firmed from $2.50 into $1.80 for the final Group 1 juvenile race of the season.
Ninth Legion, a trip to Brisbane possible after his Warwick Farm win, picture Sportpix.com.au