Anthony Cumming’s promising El Sid salutes in Canterbury opener

May 26, 2016

With the colts and geldings contesting the opening race on Wednesday at Canterbury, the $40,000 Tab.com.au Handicap (1100m), the fillies were in action in the second, the $40,000 Schweppes Handicap (1100m), with the winners of both events showing their fair share of ability.

Short priced favourite Al Minhaad (Smart Missile) from the Hawkes Racing stable was a late scratching in the opening race which saw the field down to seven, as the blue blooded Bezel, a Street Cry colt out of Group 1 winner Beaded, jumping the $4.40 favourite.

As the gates opened, Gerald Ryan’s Sepoy colt Regimental Force took up the running from El Sid on his outside, while Another Weapon settled on the rail in third for apprentice Matthew McGillivray, with Bezel and James McDonald in fourth.

Setting a good tempo in the lead, Regimental Force held a half-length margin over El Sid as the field turned into the short Canterbury straight.

At the 200m mark, Blake Shinn asked El Sid for an effort, and the son of the former Anthony Cummings-trained Sidereus began to make his move, hitting the front and racing away to record a narrow, but impressive victory.

Charging home late to produce one of the runs of the race was favourite Bezel (Street Cry) who finished a head back in second in a time of 1.05.49. Third was race leader Regimental Force (Sepoy) with Tuivasa (Stratum) in fourth on the Good 3 rated track surface.

In the small field of seven El Sid paid $3.60 on the NSW TAB but considerably better at $5.50 on fixed odds betting.

Having made his racetrack debut in December when fourth behind Godolphin's leading two-year-old Astern, El Sid took his overall record to two starts for a win and $27,175 in earnings for Mr P James, Mr T G O'driscoll, Mr D M Beran, Arts Racing, Mr S Circosta, Mr A Bonvino, Dr M Santangelo, Mrs M C Hayne, Mr M J Hayne and Mr G Karantzias.

Deputising for his father, stable foreman Edward Cummings feels the colt is well up to stakes grade, but he just has to reach that level of maturity to be competitive.

“He’s always been a horse with ability. He’s just taken a little bit of time to come to hand mentally,” said Cummings.

“The guys at home have done a really good job with him, helping him to switch off mentally and just focusing on putting his best foot forward on the track.

“He was bought out of the breeze ups and put up one of the best times, and fetched a pretty competitive price.

“We were reasonably confident today. We think he has the potential to get to stakes grade.”

Jockey Blake Shinn, who had ridden the colt in his most recent barrier trial, echoed the thoughts of Cummings.

“It was a good first up win, I think he has loads of improvement in him, he’s mentally just not there yet,” said Shinn.

“He settled lovely which was a key for him today. He’s got a nice turn of foot and he is a progressive horse.”

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