James Cummings’ Hallowed Crown out to underline value in Roman Consul Stakes

Under no illusions: James Cummings knows just how good Golden Rose-winning colt Hallowed Crown is. Photo: Wolter Peeters Under no illusions: James Cummings knows just how good Golden Rose-winning colt Hallowed Crown is. Photo: Wolter Peeters
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Under no illusions: James Cummings knows just how good Golden Rose-winning colt Hallowed Crown is. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Under no illusions: James Cummings knows just how good Golden Rose-winning colt Hallowed Crown is. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Each adjective James Cummings uses to describe Hallowed Crown is more deliberate than the next. Painstakingly pointing out how good the Golden Rose winner is — and in turn hinting can be at stud — while subtly referring to the minor flaws in the colt’s near faultless make-up.

“Eduardo Cojuangco [Cummings’ grandfather-in-law who races Hallowed Crown under the Gooree Stud banner] has been breeding this family for many years — a lot longer than I’ve been training this horse individually — and he’s extremely happy that this is the path we’re taking,” Cummings points out of the Zoustar model he’ll adopt before Saturday’s Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick.

“And I think the horse is brilliant enough to be trained to sprint and sprint well enough in the spring. He’s an immature spring three-year-old, but he’s naturally talented enough, brilliant enough and precocious enough in his own right to be the first group1-winning colt of his generation.”

And despite sealing a stallion future with the very first group1 he has crossed off his list as a trainer, Cummings’ young shoulders are not feeling the weight of the racing world. At least not yet.

“You can’t stop and take too much time to think, you’ve got to keep the ball rolling,” Cummings said. “There will be plenty of pressure on us to get him to race up to that standard again next start [in the Roman Consul] and hopefully come to another peak in a race like the Coolmore [Stud Stakes].”

That Cummings, a group1 novice when lined up against his grandfather and co-trainer Bart, a veteran of 267 wins at the top level, is navigating a trail blazed by Chris Waller and Zoustar last year is no coincidence.

Even to the horror Golden Rose alleys and wide passages they traversed in that race, there’s more than a little synergy between the two than just the Roman Consul-Coolmore plans after a career-defining win.

Cummings is quick to suggest Hallowed Crown’s stud duties are already set in stone after the Golden Rose. Preserving — or perhaps more poignantly — increasing his value?

“Well, to a certain extent his value is cemented and that main job is done,” he said. “What I’ve got to do is concentrate on my horse, stick to the systems and I can’t let the result worry me.

“I’ve just got to get the horse to train well and race up to his training. The rest will fall into place.

“He’s got to beat the seven other horses that are nominated in the race and we all watch racing every day of the week. A favourite gets beaten every day. It can happen and there’s only one horse I’ve seen that it doesn’t happen to.

“He certainly has showed us enough to suggest we’re not expecting anything less than a very, very good performance from him on Saturday.”

It will certainly take a very, very good performance from any of Hallowed Crown’s five rivals to defy Hugh Bowman from returning to scale a winner for Gooree, who are hoping to end the week on a better note than it started when one-time Epsom favourite Rock Sturdy went amiss.

Waller perhaps poses the biggest hurdle with Brazen Beau and Delectation entered, while Gerald Ryan boasts stakes-winning two-year-old Time For War, which pushed Rubick in a Rosehill trial on Tuesday.

So can Hallowed Crown win in the same arrogant manner as his Rose predecessor did last year?

“I watched the replay the other day and I know it’s impossible to judge because you’ve got to compare the horses Zoustar beat to what I have to beat on the weekend,” Cummings said.

“Nostradamus and Klammer are some nice horses and there are some horses around that have the ability to beat him if everything goes wrong. It’s a truism, but the reality is we’re concentrating on the horse and he’s as good as we can have him.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.