AAP Horse Racing

Cumani looking to Future beyond Pakenham

By AAP Newswire

Trainer Matt Cumani is unsure what to expect from Future Score when the stayer makes his return to racing at Pakenham.

A three-time winner for Cumani, the European import runs first-up over 1600 metres in the Hanson Handicap on Saturday.

While Future Score was successful over 1614 metres at Pontefract in England in July 2018 before joining Cumani's Ballarat stable, his Australian victories have all been at 2400 metres and beyond.

Cumani expects Future Score to continue to improve as he is stepped up in distance but says Saturday's assignment is a good starting point.

"He's feeling pretty fresh and well," Cumani said.

"I would be expecting a quiet sit out the back and a really good finish.

"I think he's improved since he arrived here and had that first prep, so he could be competitive even over a mile, but in reality he's not going to be getting warm until he gets up to 2400 metres."

Future Score has not raced since winning the final of the Banjo Paterson Series (2600m) at Flemington in July.

Cumani has a number of staying options for the gelding, including the Adelaide Cup, the Sydney autumn carnival and the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington in May.

Victory in the Andrew Ramsden guarantees the winner a start in next year's Melbourne Cup.

In the shorter term, Cumani has mapped out a program towards the Torney Night Cup at The Valley in February and pending Future Score's progress, the trainer will determine the most suitable path.

"We've got options in the next few weeks," Cumani said.

"Then there's either the Roy Higgins (at Flemington) or the Lord Reims in Adelaide, or possibly even the Adelaide Cup which is only a week after.

"We could also include Sydney in calculations if he's going really well.

"But then there's the Andrew Ramsden as well, however that would mean keeping him up quite a long time. We'll see how it all plays out."

Future Score will have nine rivals at Pakenham with betting headed by the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Odeon.