Australia witnessed a new staying star emerge when the lightly raced Dealer Principal (Flying Spur-Volte) came with a powerful well-timed run to win the Dubai Rosehill Guineas (Aust-I) April 12 over 10 furlongs at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.
It was an emotional win in many ways and signaled trainer Anthony Cummings is now back as a major force in training. To win a group I on the eve of taking control of at least 80 of the brand new yearlings bought by Patinack Farm, has justified to all in that camp they have found a top-class trainer.
Cummings was thankful and emotional as he made his victory speech, reserving a special thanks to his wife Bernie.
"Thank you Bernie for sticking by me over those really tough years,” he said. “I can't thank you enough for that." With that, Bernie burst into tears. Cummings himself almost cracked but managed to get through the rest of his thank yous.
"This horse is extremely good," he said. "I remember seeing him at the yearling sale and looking at him. He was narrow and immature even for a yearling, but I remember his brother a year earlier went for a million dollars so I knew there was value in him. I think we landed him for $155,000 and I have been of the opinion from day one that he was very talented."
Senior owner Peter Horwitz concurred and regaled everyone with a conversation he had with Cummings while Dealer Principal was a 2-year-old.
"Anthony phoned me one day, long before the horse had ever raced and said, ‘Pete, this is a group I horse. He has brilliant ability.' I said, ‘Anthony, I've been in this game for a long, long time. You can't pull stunts like that with me.’ Anyway, here we are....."
Third home was Littorio (Bellotto-Our Centasea) whose performance was stunning. He should win the $2-million AJC Derby (Aust-I) in two weeks time off that effort where he came from near the rear on the bend to fail by just a length or so.
"Stop start, stop start, all the way. The muddling pace was against him and if he gets a good speed up front in the Derby, he'll win it," claimed enthusiastic rider Corey Brown.
There were many Derby hopefuls in the race with fourth home Lago Lad being an eye catcher too.”
The race was run on a damp turf track and was carved out in a respectable 2.04.05. The favorite in the race, Guillotine, a half-brother to Melbourne Cup winner Efficient, sat wide throughout and only plodded home finishing midpack.
Dealer Principal was making just his fifth start and was ridden to perfection by relocated country jockey Peter Robl, who has made every post a winner since moving his family to Sydney five months ago in pursuitof better opportunities.
Robl is 34 years old and this win in a half-million dollar race was his biggest to date. Dealer Principal ran down Gai Waterhouse's consistent 3-year-old Kingda Ka (Flying Spur-Fizzi Lizzi) who had stalked the pace and had launched what appeared to be a winning burst in the stretch to reach the lead a furlong from home. But it was his first run at the distance and he was cut down by Dealer Principal near the wire.