A meticulous plan laid out by Godolphin Australia’s head trainer James Cummings paid off in spades when exciting sprinter Trekking produced a peak performance to land his maiden Group 1 success in yesterday’s Group 1 $A1.5million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Trekking ($7) defeated Tyzone ($8) by a length and three-quarters, with New Zealand-trained Endless Drama ($11) another length and a quarter back in third.
Trekking has won now eight of his 20 starts, four of them at stakes level, with prize-money totalling $1,540,495. The gelded son of Street Cry took out the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 20 before landing the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone in May and was then specifically aimed at the Stradbroke, Queensland’s premier sprint.
“You don’t get too many chances at a Stradbroke so we didn’t leave much to chance,” Cummings said.
“I ran him in the Kingsford Smith Cup here two weeks ago to have a look at the track, then he had a very good gallop on the course proper on Tuesday to get him ready.”
It was Godolphin’s second Stradbroke after Impeding won in 2017 when Darren Beadman was interim trainer. The Stradbroke was also the second leg of a Group 1 double for jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who also took out yesterday’s J J Atkins Plate (1600m) for two-year-olds with Prince Fawaz.
“He (Trekking) is a promising horse and you know when you get on one of James’s horses they are fit and ready,” McEvoy said.
“The fast early pace suited him and we were able to come into the race when we wanted.”
Trainer Toby Edmonds said of runner-up Tyzone: “He tried hard and I am so proud of him.” His rider Tommy Berry said he got a nice tug into the race behind Trekking and he thought he could win, “but he was a bit strong for us”.
Leith Innes said the Tony Pike-trained Endless Drama had come a long way in a couple of months since being transferred to New Zealand.
Pike’s other charge and race favourite The Bostonian was slow to begin and was never a winning hope.
“He lost his footing at the start and that was the difference,” jockey Michael Cahill said.
Cummings’ late grandfather Bart Cummings won the Stradbroke four times, while it was also a memorable occasion for his father Antony, who trained Prince Fawaz to win the J J Atkins Plate.