James Cummings trained his first G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner at Flemington on Saturday to further a family dynasty going back four generations.
And his colt Prized Icon continued a tradition set by champion More Than Ready whose first crop from Vinery Stud included 2005 Victoria Derby winner Benicio.
Prized Icon also highlighted the remarkable More Than Ready – Danehill cross that has provided 5 Group 1 winners in Australia.
Cummings follows Jim, Bart & Anthony on the Victoria Derby roll-call with a classic-winning prep activated after winning the LR Fernhill Stakes (1600m) in April. But before going out for a winter spell, he rolled the dice with a late-entry for the G1 Champagne Stakes and it paid off a week later with another win over the testing mile at Randwick.
“My grandfather showed me how to win a Fernhill and I’ve got a race in mind for this colt next season,” Cummings predicted. “He’s a prize-fighter.”
Prized Icon’s spring campaign stepped up with placings in the G3 Gloaming Stakes & G1 Champion Stakes before a troubled trip first-up in Melbourne. “He was out of his comfort zone in the Moonee Valley Vase,” Cummings explained. “It was chalk and cheese today on the big, roomy track.
“The miles and miles of Cummings training have kicked in to win another Victorian Derby. He’s going to be close to my heart for the rest of my life.”
Now a big-time Group 1 winner as a 2YO and 3YO, Prized Icon is a valuable stud prospect. A Gooree Stud homebred, he’s one of three stakes winners from LR Maribyrnong Trial Stakes winner Tropical Affair (Danehill) following Matras (Zabeel) and Romantic Moon (More Than Ready).
Sons of More Than Ready are the next big thing and his champion sire Sebring can continue Melbourne Cup week with four live chance on Tuesday – Broadband (Ottawa Stakes), Egypt (TAB Trophy), Sebring Sun (Lavazza Stakes) and Sir Bacchus (MSS Security Sprint).
More Than Ready stands alongside his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Pluck (USA) who has Lucky Louie engaged in the G3 Ottawa Stakes. She was stakes placed on debut at Randwick earlier this month and, to complete another family link, she is trained by Anthony Cummings.