Trainer James Cummings is hoping it can be third time lucky for Cascadian and Damien Oliver when they team again in the $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Oliver has been aboard the Godolphin galloper in his past two outings, finishing fourth on each occasion, both times over 1400m at Caulfield.
Cascadian made a lot of ground when resuming behind stablemate Savatiano in the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes on August 15 before lining up two weeks later finishing 2.35 lengths behind Behemoth in the Group One Memsie Stakes.
Both those races were run under weight-for-age conditions while Saturday’s contest is a handicap.
While Cummings, or any other Australian Godolphin trainer is yet to win the race, Jungle Cat gave Godolphin victory in the race two years ago for European trainer Charlie Appleby.
Cummings said Cascadian possibly needs to lift to take out Saturday’s contest but has no doubt the six-year-old son of New Approach has the ability to do so.
Cascadian (GB) and Damien Oliver behind stablemate Savitiano and Mark Zahra in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield, picture Racing Photos
The Godolphin team sees Saturday’s race as the ideal stepping stone towards the $500,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.
“I think he has to lift to be competitive here, but I believe he can do that,” Cummings said.
“He should be close to peak fitness after two good efforts at weight-for-age and he might have got the knack of Caulfield by now.
“As a handicap, this race should be easier and it might lead the way to a winnable Toorak Handicap.
“He’s a horse who has promised quite a bit and who now has the chance to live up to it.”
Cascadian has met with some support ahead of Saturday’s race, firming from $13 with TAB Fixed Odds following Wednesday’s barrier draw into $12.
However there has been solid support for Memsie Stakes winner Behemoth, shortening from $5 into a clear-cut $4.20 top fancy.
Behemoth will be ridden by Craig Williams who is chasing a sixth win in the race, the most recent in 2015 aboard Stratum Star.
Cummings and Godolphin are left with one representative in the $140,000 Listed Jim Moloney Stakes (1400m) having decided to keep Thermosphere for the $200,000 Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Silhouette will be partnered by John Allen and Cummings said he will learn more about Silhouette, who hasn’t raced since finishing third at Randwick in June, after Saturday’s outing.
“She’s dipping her toe into the water here to see where she fits,” he said.