Racing: Temple fitting for Cumani's Calling

Click to follow
The Independent Online
SECOND SET'S run in the Arlington Million on Sunday may ignite a second coming for his trainer, Luca Cumani.

Following 15 years on the climb, the last two years have been stagnant for Cumani, who first suffered the removal of over 40 thoroughbreds owned by the Aga Khan and then a fierce virus at his Newmarket yard.

These troubles may soon melt in his mind, however, as Bedford House has challengers in three races at the highest level in the next 10 days. Apart from Second Set, Cumani has Bonny Scot in the St Leger tomorrow week and Cunning in the Prix Vermeille the following day. Second Set's chances of kick-starting the recovery appear good after he arrived at Arlington Park in better shape than on a previous mission to America.

'He shipped much better this time than he did for the Breeders' Cup last year (when 12th to Opening Verse),' Ian Willows, travelling head lad to Cumani, reported. 'The biggest question for this race is the mile-and-a-quarter. He has shown us signs in his training that he'll get the distance but we won't know for sure until the race.'

Second Set, owned by Arlington's owner Dick Duchossois, is 5- 1 joint third favourite with Ladbrokes for the race the stable won in 1983 with Tolomeo, on the same mark as Golden Pheasant and behind the 5-2 favourite Sky Classic and 9-2 Marquetry.

Another Cumani horse, Calling Collect, will be at shorter odds to win the most valuable race in Britain today, Kempton's Temple Fortune Stakes, and so continue his stable's recent run.

Over the last fortnight Cumani's strike-rate is second to none, with Duke Of Eurolink's victory at York yesterday providing him with his seventh win from 27 runners.

Cumani has prepared Calling Collect for only one race so far, at Haydock a month ago, when the colt looked in need of the outing. Previously, CALLING COLLECT (nap 3.40) had been with Elie Lellouche in France, where he performed with distinction in several top races, including a close third to Kitwood in the Group One Prix Jean Prat.

His package looks more persuasive than that of Hazaam, a beautifully bred and unbeaten horse who has yet to meet a field of this calibre.

The best pedigree in the preceding race belongs to John Dunlop's Jihaad, who is a half-brother to both Badie, who won this event last season, and the stable's 1,000 Guineas winner from last year, Shadayid.

If he has inherited any of the family traits, Jihaad (3.10) should prove too strong for Revelation, who has to concede 7lb to all his rivals as a result of his success at York.

Among Revelation's victims that day was Society Lady, who was handled with all the tenderness you might assume of a filly who cost dollars 200,000 as a yearling. With that sighter in the locker, Society Lady (4.10) should embark on a course of repayment.

The first televised race should go to a horse who has made great strides since being beaten in a Folkestone seller, Infant Protege (next best 2.40).

Clive Brittain's filly appeared to win with something in hand when she came with a swooping surge in a nursery at Haydock three weeks ago, a victory which has been penalised by just a 4lb rise in the weights.

(Photograph omitted)