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Cumani hopeful Presvis will shine once again

Luca Cumani is banking on a fast pace in the Group 1 US$5 million Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, to bring out the best in Presvis as the British challenger prepares to win the race for the second consecutive year.

Ryan Moore cut through the pack 12 months ago aboard the eight-year-old to score by ¾ of a length, but slow early fractions in his two prep runs have seen him perform below his best.

He has finished fifth and ninth in his two outings at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival and those performances have left Cumani wondering whether Presvis’s best days may be behind him.

“His prep races have not been ideal and have not told us a lot as there has been no pace,” said the Italian-born trainer.

“There is a question mark over whether he is still the horse he was. He is now an eight-year-old and perhaps he is on the wane but we won’t know whether that is the case until we get a race run to suit him,” he continued. “We need to find out if he can still hack it on this circuit or if he needs to go on the senior tour.

“He is an 8-year-old now so he looks older but he still looks good. He still looks as good as ever and works as well as he has, but there is a difference between a piece of work and a race. All the signs are that he is the usual Presvis.

“We will see how he runs before deciding whether he again goes to Hong Kong and Singapore, but if the race is not run to suit then we will be none the wiser.”

Presvis has become a regular in Dubai and even before his luckless 11th-place finish in the 2010 Dubai Duty Free, he chased home Gladiatorus in the race 12 months earlier at Nad Al Sheba.

However, despite his good record in the Middle East Cumani is taking nothing for granted.

“I have no confidence about the race,” he said. “I just hope things go his way and that he gets the fast pace he needs and the gaps appear up the straight. If somebody guaranteed those two things then I would be confident but without a guarantee I just have to hope.”

Presvis worked on the all-weather surface Monday morning and Cumani added, “There are five days until the race and I just hope nothing intervenes to change how things are.

“It is not a nice day today but the rain has settled the dust and he is happy enough. He has had a break and then came back out here for the Carnival – there is no point running him in England.”

Moore has partnered Presvis to all but one of his eight career starts which have yielded more than £4.3 million in prize money, and his trainer commented, “Ryan will ride again on Saturday. They get on well and like each other very much.”