Duretto (Image: Racing Photos)

Stepping stones for Cumani pair

Matt Cumani is hopeful that his pair of stayers, Duretto and Sylpheed, will continue to improve as they step up in distance this weekend at The Valley over 2040 metres.

Duretto, an eight-year-old gelding, is nominated for the Caulfield (2400m) and Melbourne Cups (3200m) after he finished fourth in last year's Caulfield Cup.

The Group 3 winner has only had the one start this prep, beaten six lengths at Caulfield over 1600m.

"He's never going to be competitive over that trip and carrying the huge amount of weight that he was," Cumani said.

"Again, he carries a lot of weight this time around and 2000m is well short of his optimum, but I'd like to see him run well.

"These are all just preparation runs, as much as we'd love him to win something now, he doesn't really need to to get into races we're aiming for and we'll see the best of him when he gets out over 2400m."

Sylpheed beat her stablemate home in the 1600-metre event, finishing second behind Guizot with another honest performance.

"She's an amazing mare, she's so tough, she tries her hardest and she keeps hold of her condition really well," Cumani added.

"You can never discount her, if she gets the right run she should be right in the finish."

Satori and Mortar Platoon will also take their place for Cumani on Saturday, when like Duretto and Sylpheed they go head-to-head in Race 2 over 1600m.