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Athiri's gate is no barrier

James Cummings has backed the versatility of his filly Athiri to overcome whatever scenario plays out in Saturday's $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Athiri was confirmed as one of the favourites for the Group 1 after finishing a luckless third in the Prelude two weeks ago and Cummings said he is not alarmed at her barrier draw which will see her jump from gate 13 of 14.

"She has the experience now of sitting wide at Caulfield and she's not looking like being a victim of circumstances (from gate 13) and being disappointed for a run," Cummings said on Friday.

"With that race-day experience at Caulfield and for the first time in her career being able to be raced second-up I think she's going to be a really excellent chance.

"Athiri, in a slowly-run fillies' prelude last time, was able to begin brilliantly and from a wide barrier on debut, she was snagged back and burst through them.

"I will talk to Craig Williams about it in more detail but she looks a versatile filly.

"She can make her own luck and she's got the strength of a filly that looks nicely suited up to 1200."

Cummings said that whatever horse was to win the Diamond, would immediately be a threat to the juveniles in Sydney.

"I just suspect we haven't seen the best of the Melbourne two-year-olds yet," he said.

"I still think they are coming through. The favourite in the race has had one start and was an impressive winner of the Chairman's and it's a good race to win every year.

"It just seems to me that there's a lot of upside to a lot of these horses and this is a good race every year capable of producing horses that are classic three-year-olds and some of our best horses to train on.

"I am hoping that Athiri fits that bill for us. That she's the sort of filly on the improve. She's not overly exposed and on the way up to have some petrol left in the tank for Sydney."

Godolphin's trainer James Cummings, picture Sportpix.com.au

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