Alizee stakes All-Star Mile claim with Futurity win

«That’s probably the toughest I have ever seen a horse of mine win a group 1. She’s been able to absorb the pressure, she’s just a brute of a mare, and when ridden for a turn of foot she can be even better.»

The Hugh Bowman mount did it the hard way, travelling wide throughout but having enough left at the end of the 1400-metre journey to run down Ben Melham on outsider Malaguerra, from the Peter Gelagotis stable. Alizee’s stablemate Hartnell, partnered by Dwayne Dunn, managed to get up on the line to snatch third.

It was Alizee’s toughness and versatility which Cummings remarked most on.

«They are wonderful qualities in a horse, to be able to be so versatile and still fend off quality group 1 weight-for-age horses. She’ s a special horse to have in the barn.

«She got off the float at Carbine Lodge [Godolphin’s Melbourne stable at Flemington] during the week and just hit the ground running in Melbourne. She is in the form we need to see her in.»

The trainer also paid tribute to Bowman. The jockey had been beaten on a Godolphin favourite in Aramayo earlier in the day, but he made no mistake here.

«There’s not much more I can do than get her looking like that, fit and then leg a guy like Hugh Bowman up on board,» Cummings said.

«That’s how we are going to win group 1s. I suppose it wasn’t pretty but when we look back over it, we will see the moves Hughie was able to make – they were the right ones, and he’s won us the race.

«She is in outstanding form going into the All-Star Mile, a couple of weight-for-age wins in a row, beating the boys, you can’t help but be impressed.

«Plenty of good mares have won this race in the past, like Typhoon Tracy. She’s looking like being right up there with them, she’s a bloody good racehorse.»

Cummings was also delighted with the effort of the old boy of the party, Hartnell. Now an eight-year-old, the ex-English galloper finished best of all for third and must now be a chance to secure an All-Star wildcard.

«He’s an amazing horse, Hartnell. We are thinking about him all the time, trying to be inside his mind, keep him happy.

«These are proper Australian group 1 weight-for-age horses and he is holding down third place in a Futurity, it’s amazing.»

Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing

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