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Gosford, Nowra preview: Cummings’ filly to show no Mercy



Cummings, whose 2021 will be remembered for his Adrian Knox, Coongy and Queensland Oaks wins with Duais, has a suitably high opinion of Have Mercy who is bred to go at least as far as a mile and could even blossom into a ‘classic filly’ herself.Have Mercy is a first crop daughter of US Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh out of a Lonhro half-sister to Related, a Hawkesbury Guineas winner trained by Bart Cummings.The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!Have Mercy will be ridden in the Pirtek Central Coast 3YO Maiden Plate (1000m) by Chad Schofield.“I wanted to start her off at the pointy of the end of the year so we could keep gradually building her up in distance with time up out sleeve,” Cummings explained.“I think she is the type of filly who is going to be best ridden quietly and conserved. The barrier kind of forces our hand anyway on Friday but I would expect her to run well and hopefully we can get a few breaks and make a dash at them late.”Have Mercy’s early promise was no secret, the filly started $3 on debut in a July 28 maiden on the Kensington track.Ridden hard out of the gates from a wide draw, Have Mercy set up a fast tempo before fading halfway up the straight to finish with only two behind her.“Definitely put the pen through that one,” Cummings said. “She pulled up with a temperature and a sore throat. She was scrubbed up a bit too much coming out the barriers and over did it after what were two very impressive trials.”Cummings, meanwhile, is naturally eager for Spanish Pearl to make a somewhat rare return visit to the winner’s stall in Friday’s Greg McFarlane Racing Class 1 Handicap (1100m).A daughter of French Derby winner Lope De Vega, Spanish Pearl has only managed one win from her 17 starts but has placed nine times.“She has run well despite bad barriers all prep,” Cummings said. “This is probably the first genuine time that she is going to be on top of the ground from a decent draw.“It looks like a wide-open race. I know the favourite, Nasturtium, is obviously very firm but I don’t think it beat much the other day and it wasn’t pressured or tested and I think it is going to be a completely different scenario for that horse on Friday.“I would like to think that a bit of pressure might bring a few other horses into it.”Cummings is hoping the looming new year might bring out the best in Wandjina mare Lumerai who is considerably more talented than her current C.V indicates.“She has got ability but she has just been a very slow maturing filly as her record would suggest – two runs, spell, two runs, spell and good long-term spells as well,” Cummings explained.“I could definitely see her running much better than her odds.”PRICE HOPING A GEAR CHANGE CAN BRING OUT THE BEST IN SHIPTONRobert Price is a long way off declaring Shipton a winner at Nowra this New Year’s Eve but he is adamant that she will run better than the first and last time she visited there.A daughter of Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet, Shipton was virtually unwanted in the betting ($11 to $18) when she made her debut in an 1100m Nowra maiden on August 22.The Price’s filly was last throughout and crossed the line some 11-lengths behind the winner.“We have never doubted her ability but she just melts down behind the barriers,” Price explained.“So, we have gone with the pre-race ear muffs which we will get a bit of leverage out of and we’ll get her with the pony.“Her work has been good; her trial was okay. Me personally as a trainer, she disappoints me with her attitude on race day but if she can overcome that with practise, she has certainly got a little bit of ability.”Count De Rupee’s trainers Robert and Luke Price and jockey Brock Ryan stand a tremendous chance of adding another albeit less lucrative winner to their 2021 tally when Uncle Al Pal contests the Stroud Homes Maiden Handicap (1200m).Uncle Al Pal has raced seven times, finishing runner-up twice – one at Kembla, the other at Nowra at $81.“He is well placed there on Friday.” Price said.“If he gets the sting out of the track it will suit him because he can feel his joints at times but we have got him as good as we can get him.”The Archer Hotel Nowra Class 3 Handicap (1200m) seems a winnable target for the Price’s mare, Kimberley Rain.The superbly-bred daughter of 2015 Australian Guineas winner Wandjina and granddaughter of 1988 AJC Oaks winner Savana City has won twice in her 13 appearances, both of those victories were at Nowra.Kimberley Rain had plenty of admirers first-up in the Belle of The South here but finished at the back but for good reason.“She choked down the other day so it was deadset a good enough excuse,” Price said.“We have introduced a tongue tie and I am certain we will see an improved Kimberley Rain on Friday.”

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