Anthony Cummings will be watching the Golden Slipper (1200m) tomorrow with bated breath, as his talented hope Smart Missile takes to the track this Saturday April 2, 2011, in an effort to win the trainer his first ever Slipper.
Cummings, who hasn’t had much Golden Slipper luck in the past, is trying to remain calm before the big race at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
“I know we have some great chances (tomorrow) but if I thought getting excited would improve things I’d get excited but most of the time it doesn’t,” Cummings said.
The trainer feels that the best approach to dealing with a nerve-wracking Golden Slipper campaign is to take things one step at a time.
“I find you need to sit back and have a look, make sense of things around you and make the best decisions, try to control the things you can and deal with what presents,” he said.
“There is not much point in worrying about it but this time of year, it’s our grand final, you certainly go to bed thinking about the horses and you wake up thinking about them. It’s the nature of our business.”
Anthony Cummings hasn’t had much success when it comes to winning Golden Slippers, with two of his best chances, Danehill Dancer and Casino Prince, unable to claim victory in the Group 1 race.
Danehill Dancer wasn’t even able to make it to the starting gates.
“When she came back (from a spell) we found she had a broken back,” Cummings said.
“She was still in good shape and her muscles were working overtime so it read like she was tying up but that wasn’t the case – it was just the muscles working hard to hold her together.”
While the young filly was still able to perform, she was never able to reach her prime.
“I could tell something was wrong,” disclosed Cummings.
“Fortunately it didn’t give her much grief, she looked after herself but she was never the same after it.”
Casino Prince, on the other hand, made it to the race, however, made a number of critical mistakes.
“Casino Prince was winning everything in the lead-up to the Golden Slipper,” the trainer said.
“Then we gave him a barrier trial a week or so before the race and he did more than we would have liked. In the Slipper, he was a bit full of himself, blew the start and his race was over.”
The trainer has said that if he has learnt one thing about Golden Slippers, it is that anything can happen.
“I suppose you can be a bit stoic about the whole bloody thing and put it down to bad luck but you do realise you can’t count your chickens before they hatch,” he said.