“The horse will be better suited cantering up to them at this distance.
“He’ll have the blinkers on here, he’s worked around easily in them and we’re quite confident the gear change will be effective.”
Saturday will prove a fork in the road for Avilius, who is nominated for all three Melbourne majors.
Also at Randwick, Colette will represent the Blue team in the group 1 Epsom Handicap.
“We have preferred to keep her campaign on the light side, with the Golden Eagle her main spring target,” Cummings said.
“She has pleased us with her two performances this preparation and takes on a major mile handicap with a light impost. She appears to be well placed in an open race.”
Godolphin will also boast a strong contingent at Flemington on Saturday.
Kementari runs first-up in a hot Gilgai Stakes, against the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Bobbie Lewis Stakes winner Zoutori and All-Aged Stakes winner Tofane, but Cummings said the gelding is fit and ready for the 1200m assignment.
“His preliminaries have been excellent and the reports from his trackwork riders give me confidence,” he said.
“There may be some improvement to come in the appearance of his coat, but he’ll arrive in Melbourne a fit horse.”
Like Avilius, Savatiano will also don blinkers on Saturday in a strong 1400m mares race containing Perfect Jewel, Madam Rouge and Pretty Brazen.
Cummings said the P.B. Lawrence Stakes winner had excuses when eighth to Pretty Brazen in the Let’s Elope at her most recent start.
“Her form suffered a rare downturn last start which we’ve put down to the firm track,” he said.
“She’ll need everything she’s got from the wide gate, but she can win this race on her form from two runs ago. The blinkers going back on should be a strong pointer.”
Alcyone needs more fitness as he builds towards next month’s VRC Derby via Saturday’s Super Impose, while Thermosphere is avoiding the Flight Stakes in Sydney to run in the Edward Manifold at Flemington.
“She brings some honest Sydney form to Melbourne,” he said.
“After three runs this time in, this should have her in prime condition and she appears to be well-placed.
“In fact each time she has stepped out this prep her riders have warned she will be a different horse when finally up to 1600 metres.”
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.