It’s easy to understand why trainer Luca Cumani has a bit of a soft spot for his latest spring carnival tourist, Cima De Triomphe, a relatively new addition to his Newmarket stables but a horse with a familiar background.Although a little more grey in the coat than his trainer, Cima De Triomphe shares a common past with Cumani, who learnt the ropes alongside his father, champion trainer Sergio, and his mother Elena, a champion amateur jockey, as a young man in Italy before to pursuing a career in England.Like Cumani, Cima De Triomphe was bred to succeed on the racetrack being by champion European sire Galileo, a two-time derby winner, and Danehill mare Sopran Londa. Like Cumani, Cima De Triomphe learnt his craft in Italy on the hippodromes of Rome and Milan before shifting to Britain and to Cumani’s care.And although to most Australians Italy doesn’t exactly spring to mind as a reliable source of thoroughbred talent, Cumani has had considerable success sourcing class gallopers where others prefer to search for the perfect pizza or fine art. ”Plenty of good horses have come out of Italy, don’t worry about that. Falbrav was pretty good,” said Cumani’s travelling foreman, Charlie Henson.Falbrav won five group 1s for Cumani in 2003, all in the space of six months, including an explosive victory in the Hong Kong Cup when he defeated another Italian galloper, Rakti. Like Cima De Triomphe, Falbrav spent his early years in Italy before making it big in Europe.And from just four runs for his stable, Cima De Triomphe has shown Cumani that he, too, has the ability to reach great heights.At his first run for Cumani, Cima De Triomphe tackled the group 1 Prix Ganay and raced below his best when finishing sixth in a field of nine, but he improved at his next start when claiming the scalp of star British stayer Conduit in the group 3 Brigadier Gerard at Sandown.”It was only a narrow win but he did it well and Conduit is a very good horse at home,” Henson said.But it was at his third run, in the group 1 Eclipse Stakes at the same track, that had Cumani pondering the uncharted depths of Cima De Triomphe’s ability. Tackling a top-class line-up that included eventual winner and subsequent superstar galloper Sea The Stars, Cima De Triomphe ran a respectable fourth, albeit some 10 lengths adrift .The margin might seem excessive at first glance, but under the weight-for-age conditions Sea The Stars was in receipt of five kilograms from Cima De Triomphe.”Sea The Stars is an amazing horse and he’s proven that this season. To run so well behind him in the Eclipse gave us great hope for the future. It’s the best form anywhere in the world at the moment.” Henson said.Cumani’s wife, Sara, an accomplished rider and a regular trackwork partner of Cima De Triomphe, has few doubts over the horse’s ability but is wary of the expectation that the Eclipse formline brings.”He’s got all the big names around him which tells you how good he is, I just hope his form doesn’t flatter him,” she said.Following the Eclipse, an unlucky fourth in the Arlington Million (2012 metres) in America in August rounded off his northern hemisphere preparation and hinted that the horse may be looking for the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup.”He’s an Italian Derby winner over 2200 metres and he has stayed on nicely at his last two runs in England. I doubt that the 2400 metres will worry him,” Henson said.Henson has kept a watchful eye on Cima De Triomphe and stablemate, Melbourne Cup aspirant Basaltico, since they arrived on AFL grand final day and has been pleased with the way both horses have taken to their new surroundings, especially Cima De Triomphe.”They settled in perfectly and their work has been very good. They’ve done everything that has been asked of them,” Henson said.But the last word lies with the jockey and Damien Oliver has again been booked to partner Cumani’s headline act, having ridden Purple Moon and Mad Rush in previous cups campaigns.After two solid hit-outs on the horse in the past week, Oliver is confident that Cumani has found the right horse to take tomorrow’s race and deliver Cumani’s maiden Australian victory.”He [Cima De Triomphe] is a little bit stronger than the other horses I’ve ridden previously [for Cumani] in Mad Rush and Purple Moon. He has got a lot more physical presence about him. Luca knows what sort of horse is needed here and I think he has found the right one. He’s very fit, he’s in good shape and now we’ll see if he’s good enough,” Oliver said.
Nanjing Night Net

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