Home Of The Brave

Home Of The Brave (Image: Bradley Photos)

Cummings' Brave Aurie's call

Home Of The Brave may be winless in Melbourne but the Irish-bred sprinter is rated as probably the best straight-track horse in Godolphin trainer James Cummings' stable.

Cummings suggested so on Wednesday when previewing Saturday's Group 3 Aurie's Star Handicap at Flemington. It was the race in which Home Of The Brave made his Australian debut two years ago when he led until the shadows of the post before being nosed out by Voodoo Lad.

He then went to Sydney and won the G3 Theo Marks Stakes but has been unable to win since.

"In my entire arsenal, this horse is probably my best straight-track performer," Cummings said. "We are sending him to Melbourne to take advantage of that."

Home Of The Brave, who has drawn barrier nine of 11 for jockey Damien Oliver on Saturday, has only had one other straight-course run when he finished third to Great Again and Rich Charm in the Straight Six in May.

He tuned up for the Aurie's Star with a trial win on the Kensington track at Randwick last week.

"He's fresh and fiery after an honest winter campaign and will be sharp going into a race in which he made his Australian debut two years ago," Cummings said.

"We're looking at this race as an opportunity to make amends for the one that got away."

Cummings does not just see the race as an opportunity for the nine-year-old to snare another win, but also for him to be the stable's flagbearer in many of the Flemington spring sprints.

"If he shows the form I expect to see here, we will try to pick the eyes out of the straight-track races at Flemington over the spring," he said.

Home Of The Brave has opened up a $4.60 second favourite for the 1200-metre sprint behind Great Again ($4.20) within the market.