Everest Audition Looming For Alizee

By Ray Hickson

Star mare Alizee is likely to make her first public appearance in a trial next week as trainer James Cummings prepares her to impress Everest slot holders.

Trainer James Cummings (Pic: Steve Hart).

It’s entirely possible Godolphin could be a slot holder by the time Alizee steps out in a trial at Rosehill on July 19 – assuming they make a bid for the vacant slot – but Cummings said on Sky Sports Radio on Friday morning she is one of a few from the blue team that fits the TAB Everest bill.

“I’m told she’s fairly high up in the market, in the first half dozen horses capable of winning the race,’’ Cummings said.

“A horse that was able to win the Expressway so nicely first-up last preparation, you would imagine if she could run well in the Missile she’s going to get a lot of attention.’’

The Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) is run at Rosehill Gardens on August 10. Alizee boasts a first-up record of four starts for three wins and has won her past three 1200m attempts.

Alizee, a three time Group 1 winner and a rising five-year-old, is a $15 chance in TAB’s Everest market and of the first nine in the market only her and stablemate Osborne Bulls ($7) are without a slot in the $14 million race at Randwick on October 19.

“She’s a brilliant six furlong filly,’’ Cummings said.

“I’d say she has got to be on people’s radars and the only reason I have to be a little guarded is because there are a couple of others in the stable.

“People can’t forget not so long ago Trekking walked away with the Stradbroke. He’s the next horse coming through, not unlike Redzel when he was on an upward spiral.

“And that’s not to undermine at all the efforts of Osborne Bulls who ran second in five Group 1s.’’

With the Racing NSW board to determine the winning tender for the vacant slot next week, the remaining slot holders yet to move are James Harron, Coolmore, the Australian Turf Club and Chris Waller Racing.

We haven’t seen Alizee race since she ran sixth in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf (1600m) on Day 2 of The Championships and Cummings said she’s coming up nicely, with the aim to have her fire first-up.

“She’s in good shape, I might trial her late next week,’’ he said.

“It’d be lovely to get on the course proper but the Missile will come around in early August and I think she will be ready to go there.’’

In talking up the likes of Alizee, Trekking and Osborne Bulls as Everest contenders, Cummings said he’s cold on the idea of a Godolphin three-year-old taking on the world’s richest turf race in the new season.

That would rule out the likes of classy youngsters Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi and Sires’ Produce winner Microphone being asked to tackle the older horses.

Alizee’s first-up win in the Expressway Stakes in February

“Our focus is probably going to be for the three-year-olds to stick to black type,’’ he said.

“Nothing is locked in because we’re going to have to be on the ball to feel our way through the preparation for a lot of these horses.

“I don’t want to be locked in to any plans with too much rigidity, I think that will come back to bite us. It is a long spring, some are ready to hit the ground running in August and we’ll let them take the wraps off themselves when they are ready.’’

As for the Slipper winner, Cummings said Kiamichi is pleasing him in the early stages of her preparation.

“She’s come back squealing, I’m telling you, after her gallops,’’ he said.

“I’m sure she is going to really enjoy getting her toe in so for her sake we have to pray for a few wet tracks in the spring. It looks like she’s enthusiastic about getting back into it.’’