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  • John Curtis


WEDNESDAY: September 8, 2021: AS his gun mare Duais nears resumption, Edward Cummings for the first time in his relatively brief solo training career goes to the races on home turf at Hawkesbury tomorrow with three excellent chances.

And its Duais’ rider Hugh Bowman whom Hawkesbury’s newest Group 1 winning trainer is banking on provide him with further success.

Cummings has booked Bowman for Dark Rebel (HRC Motel Class 1 Handicap, 1600m), Three Wise Men (TAB Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap, 1300m), and Sunborn (Lander Toyota Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1400m).

Dual acceptor Three Wise Men is an emergency for the CG&E Maiden Plate (1100m), but is expected to start in the 1300m event. this morning listed Three Wise Men ($2.90) and Sunborn ($3.30) as favorites, and Dark Rebel ($5) as a $5 third favorite.

Sky Racing analyst Paul Joice has tipped Three Wise Men and Sunborn on top, and Dark Rebel as his third pick.

“I think they are all great chances, but don’t favour any particular one,” Cummings said this morning.

Cummings, after previously sharing training duties at Royal Randwick with his father Anthony, has done an outstanding job since branching out on his own at Hawkesbury and has just begun only his third full season after coming off a career high 13-win 2020-21 season, capped by Duais’ Group 1 triumph in the Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm in early June.

Hawkesbury has been his most successful track to date in terms of winners with five so far, and Bowman has been his most successful rider with three victories (all on Duais).

Cummings goes back to “fishing in the shallows” with his three-year-olds Dark Rebel and Three Wise Men, who both contested Group 1 races in Brisbane at the end of their two-year-old season.

“Like Duais, both horses had a break in Queensland after they ran in the JJ Atkins Stakes at Eagle Farm on June 12,” Cummings said.

“I’ve made a couple of gear changes on Dark Rebel, but nothing major.

“He resented a tongue tie when he resumed (seventh in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty, 1400m at the Rosehill Gardens meeting at Kembla Grange on August 28 after being checked just after the start), so I have taken it off and put a cross-over nose band on.

“I expect him to run well going back to a Class 1.

“Three Wise Men is resuming , and there might be some concern about him first-up at 1300m.

“However, his recent trial at Hawkesbury was okay, there is some residual fitness value from his latest 1600m run in Brisbane and he did perform well when second (at $101) beginning his career over 900m at Newcastle in April.”

Sunborn gave Cummings his first winner of the new season at Hawkesbury on August 10 in a 1300m Class 1 before finishing third to fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup’s Calgary Queen in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1250m) on the Kensington track 15 days later.

It is just over 13 months since the now four-year-old mare was extremely lucky to stay on her feet in a drama-filled 2YO Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on July 25 last year.

“We’ve had to start from scratch again, and it’s very pleasing to see her racing so well,” Cummings said.

“Sunborn is now settling back into herself, and getting better with each run.

“She looks to be in a very winnable race tomorrow.”

Cummings will give Duais a special exhibition gallop with stablemate Prompt Prodigy between races at tomorrow’s meeting.

He is set to begin her spring campaign either at Newcastle next Friday in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) or the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick the following day.

“They are both similar races, and she has raced well at the two tracks,” he said.

“Duais has raced twice at Newcastle for a debut second in June last year and a first-up 1300m win in December (Glyn Schofield rode her on both occasions), and she won the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick in April before finishing second in the ATC Oaks there a week later.”

Cummings has nominated the Shamus Award mare for the $1.5m Group 1 TAB Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 2.

“The Epsom is an option, but it’s likely she will step up to perhaps 2000m once she has had her first run back next week,” he said.

“Duais has proved her Group 1 class at 2400m, but yet to do that at 1600m.”

. The rail is 3m out from the 1100m to 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder. A “Soft 5” rating was posted this morning by racecourse manager Rick Johnston. A total of 6mm of rain has been recorded in the past seven days, but nil in the last 24 hours.

. Paul Joice’s selections are:

RACE 1: TYCOON HALLIE, Deep Reef, Dark Rebel.

RACE 2: THREE WISE MEN, Uncle Al Pal, Summer Promise.

RACE 3: KALLOS, Midori Beauty, Russian Standard.

RACE 4: NAPLES, Your Too Good, Bahama.

RACE 5: HEAD ON UP, Marshall Dillon, Diamond Hands.

RACE 6: SUNBORN, Armatree, Dalchini.

RACE 7: KYPREOS, Tip Top Timing, Undoubted.


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