Cummings’ rise bodes well for ‘Blue Army’ challenge … starting now

Could Godolphin and James Cummings be positioning themselves as a threat to Chris Waller’s eight-year dominance of Sydney racing?

Rising: James Cummings continues to go from strength to strength with Godolphin’s Australian arm.Credit:AAP

It’s not hard to notice the impact Cummings has made in the first half of 2018-19 with Saturday’s winning double taking him to 52 wins (from 246 runners) for the season to Waller’s 78 (563 runners). At the end of 2017-18, Waller trained a record 189 Sydney winners (1278 runners) which is double Cummings’ tally of 94 from 504 starters.

It’s food for thought about what might happen in the future as the ‘‘blue army’’ does have the stock to mount a challenge and Cummings is coming into his own as a trainer.

Godolphin are light on at today’s Randwick meeting but Cummings should be able to walk away with at least one winner with handy filly Laburnum who is poised for a first-up win in the Australian Turf Club Sprint (1000 metres).

Laburnum has just the one win from seven starts but took on Smart Melody, Thinkin’ Big, Master Ash and Fiesta last preparation and wasn’t disgraced. The filly showed she’s on target for a first-up win by downing Prophet’s Thumb, which won first-up at Gosford last week, in a Warwick Farm trial (803 metres) and she was going as well if not better than the runner-up.

Cummings’ other runner at Randwick is Osorno, a capable but enigmatic type who tackles the penultimate race of the day.

In-form apprentice Robbie Dolan has one of the ace rides on the day on Kim Waugh’s progressive four-year-old Fuchu. The gelding will be out to make it three consecutive wins in the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap (1400 metres) following wins at Newcastle and Wyong and Dolan is confident he has the firepower to do it again.

“I feel like the Kensington track will suit him better than Wyong,’’ Dolan said. “You notice the turn of foot, he’s really relaxed in the run, chilled out, and when you click him into gear he really picks up nicely and you can feel the acceleration.’’

Randwick Best Bets
Best: R8 (9) Laburnum
Next best: R6 (1) Fuchu
Value R4: (6) Darkhawk
Best quinella R1: (2) Miss Jenny and (3) Gayatri.

Supplied by Racing NSW

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