He’s 85 years young and on the rise

Without peer … Cups King Bart Cummings during the Flemington carnival this year. He turned 85 on Wednesday and has two good chances at Sandown on Saturday.MASTER trainer Bart Cummings turned 85 on Wednesday and is still doing what he loves, training ”the occasional winner”.

”That keeps the owners happy and keeps me happy,” Cummings said this week. ”I have some good owners but they like to win occasionally, as I do, and we would like to do that again on Saturday.”

The master with 12 Melbourne Cups and 265 group 1 victories has a zest for finding his next feature winner and thinks it could come from Lunar Rise, which goes around in Saturday’s group 2 $350,000 Sandown Guineas (1600 metres).

”I think Lunar Rise might be an Australian Guineas type,” he said. ”It is hard to predict the future but in him and Norzita [Flight Stakes winner] we could have a couple of good ones in the autumn.

”Time will tell though.”

Lunar Rise won the Carbine Club Stakes during the Flemington carnival and meets a similar field on Saturday, but will have to overcome the wide gate of 14.

”He did a good job to win last time but this is the race we had targeted him at,” Cummings said. ”He might be a strong miler, so there will more races for him in the future. I think this race will be the right one for him.”

Lunar Rise started Derby day on the right note for Cummings but it was his son Anthony who took the bragging rights, winning his first Victoria Derby with Fiveandahalfstar and later prepared Fontelina for a first-up coup. ”That took a bit of the pressure off me,” Cummings snr said. ”It was good for him to win one [Victoria Derby] but I would prefer to be winning it myself.”

Cummings will only have one other runner at Sandown, Precedence, which will race in the Dato Tan Chin Nam silks, as will Lunar Rise. The seven-year-old picked up $125,000 from his third attempt at the Melbourne Cup when ninth behind Green Moon and will be given his chance in the Zipping Classic.

”He doesn’t win that often this bloke,” Cummings said. ”He won at Moonee Valley in September and that got Chin Nam off my back.

”It had been a while between drinks for him.”

Precedence was rated an $8 chance in early betting on the Zipping Classic, which is topped by Mourayan at $2.50. He was seventh in the Melbourne Cup.

”Precedence ran well in the Cup and he will run well again,” Cummings said. ”He is definitely a good chance in a race of this nature.”

Cummings had ”a quiet night” to celebrate his birthday but hopes Saturday will give reason to have a bottle of red.

With two runners in Sydney, his best Mr Edison, third-up from a spell, has a record of two wins from four at that point of his preparations.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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