Blindfold works a treat for renowned tardy beginner.
Luca Cumani no longer trains racehorses, but he is still imparting his wisdom and Phillip Stokes hopes to be the beneficiary in this Saturday's Zipping Classic at Caulfield.
The 10-year-old was up to his old tricks in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 11, missing the start by several lengths before working home nicely to finish 3.85 lengths behind Muramasa.
Stokes was keen to undertake some remedial work with the OTI-raced gelding before this weekend's $750,000 Group 2 and opted to apply a blindfold ahead of a jumpout at Pakenham last week after the gelding's owner Terry Henderson passed on a suggestion from the legendary Italian horseman.
"Terry Henderson gave me the idea, he was talking to Luca Cumani about it and he said 'try a blindfold', so we did," Stokes said.
"It worked in the jumpout, now we just need that to translate to raceday."
Amadea jumped well enough to settle in second spot in the 1000m jumpout before being allowed to coast to the line over the concluding stages and finish in fourth position.
The son of Casamento will be having his fifth run of a campaign that has been headlined by victory in the Geelong Cup (2400m) two starts ago and Stokes could not be happier with the way he is holding together.
"He's been in work for a while, but he just seems to be a happy horse and is racing so well," he said.
"He's a 10-year-old gelding, so I don't really see any sense in giving him time the paddock.
"He's had a few issues in the past, but he's moving the best he's ever moved and he looks great in the coat. He's a healthy, fit horse and he's racing like one."
Amade is one of 16 nominations for the Zipping Classic, which also includes defending champion Vow And Declare, dual Doomben Cup winner Huetor, Muramasa, Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes winner Military Mission, Matriarch Stakes winner Deny Knowledge and Ballarat Cup hero Bankers Choice.