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Give Luca credit for Wonderful piece of training; Alastair Down On Friday.

WITH all the whip furore that followed Tuesday's Juddmonte International, Luca Cumani probably failed to get due credit for the skill and patience he has shown with the winner One So Wonderful.

Her sole defeat and the one blot on her copybook came when she ran a stinker in Sandown's Brigadier Gerard Stakes and Luca said: "She remembered she was there to race but forgot how to behave and really did get her knickers in a twist."

Urbane as ever, Cumani was delighted to have won but his initial reaction was that the filly had got beat. After big winners at York the Wily One slips through the press room en route to the unsaddling enclosure. And after pausing to watch a replay on the box he said: "I think Frankie's won it."

Happy to be wrong, he laughed off the fact that the yard hadn't sent out a winner for 25 days, saying: "We Italians like to take a bit of time off in August!" But Sarah Cumani stressed that there was more to the victory than met the eye and said: "Luca has done really well to get this filly to win this race. She went totally screwy at Sandown and he has done a lot to get her back. She has been to the races loads of times when we have had other runners and that has helped her quite a bit."

Given that the yard has been so out of form it is arguable that there may be a bit more to come from One So Wonderful, a filly who was favourite for the 1,000 Guineas after her maiden two-year-old win.

Cumani stressed she is very much an autumn filly and said: "Last spring she took a very long time to come to hand. She was woolly in her coat and never looked right. We sent her back home in May and got her back in June."

Although she won only narrowly in what one press room judge called "a Group 2 race for a Group 1 prize", the fact remains that she has only been beaten once in three seasons and that was when losing the plot before the Brigadier Gerard.

With options in Ireland, Britain and America, plus a choice between 10 furlongs and 12, it will be interesting to see where Luca next unleashes her. But she certainly has the right attitude in a finish and her trainer might squeeze a drop more improvement from her yet.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Down, Alastair
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 21, 1998
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