The Anthony Cummings stable continued its good run of recent success in Sydney when Moridan broke through for his first career win at just his second career start in the $50,000 Vinery Handicap (1400m) at the Randwick-Kensington midweek metropolitan meeting staged on Wednesday.
A promising third at Hawkesbury over 1300m on debut, Moridan ($7.00) produced a polished performance under a Jason Collett ride to defeat the very well-rated Antonio Giovanni ($3.50 fav) into second place, with Mikasa ($12.00) doing best of the other 10 starters for third.
Moridan was ridden in close proximity of the leader before turning for home perfectly positioned by Collett to pounce. The closing stages saw the Anthony Cummings trained 3-year-old colt attack the finishing line in very genuine fashion, comfortably holding off his opposition to record a clear-cut success.
Runner-up Antonio Giovanni did all of his best work at the finish when running on strongly over the final 200 metres of the contest. A half-brother to the Group 1 winning juveniles Press Statement and Pressday, Antonio Giovanni never looked likely to catch the winner at any stage but did give the impression that his debut outing would bring him on tremendously — both physically and mentally.
Moridan’s win followed the relatively recent successes of Lovemetender, Chill and Tristate for the Anthony Cummings stable in very similar grade since the beginning of the new racing season.
The product of a notable black-type winning family immediate associated with The Aga Khan, Moridan is the third living foal of a half-sister to French Group 2 winner Vadamar from a lineage which boasts not one but two winners of Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary in the form of Vadawina (2nd-dam) and Vazira.
Cummings confirmed after the win that Moridan had been earmarked for an assault on the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and said that there’s now even more reason to believe he’ll take his chance following his maiden success.
Official margins of the race were 1 Len x 1-3/4 Len.
Winning time on a Soft 5 was registered as 1:23.81 (Last 600m 0:34.97).
Though never in the hunt at any stage, Godolphin’s filly Willowy was ridden with a very great deal of patience before hitting the line in strong fashion for an eye-catching fifth. By Kermadec from Dexterous, the lightly-raced 3-year-old is not only by the sire of last year’s Flight Stakes (G1) and Spring Champion Stakes (G1) winner Montefilia, she’s also a half-sister to Group winners Skilled (AJC Champagne S.-G1), Sidestep and Ambidexter. She's one to monitor closely over the coming weeks.