WEDNESDAY: April 26, 2023: ARTS is en route to Adelaide and Duais will be heading in a different direction as Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings seeks to add to his Group 1 resume.
The lightly-raced Arts lines up in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville, whilst her triple Group 1 winning stablemate Duais is Queensland-bound for the $1m Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 20.
Cummings is happy with lightly-raced Xtravagant three-year-old Arts’ progress since finishing fifth to New Zealand filly Pennyweka in the Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 8 after romping away with the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) there a week earlier.
“She was too keen in the run as she was in the Adrian Knox, and couldn’t quite finish off at the end of the 2400m,” Cummings said today.
“That was a result of being ridden upside down in the Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) last month, but I feel we’ve got her back.
“Arts has done well since the Oaks, and has been in Melbourne since Sunday.
“She will go to Adelaide on Thursday night, and Sam Clipperton is back on her, and has a 100 per cent winning record (two from two) on the filly.
“It’s a bit disappointing Arts has drawn awkwardly (13 in a field of 16 plus three emergencies).”
Artis is currently sharing favoritism at $6 with Perth filly She’s Fit (Craig Williams), who has drawn even wider, in a very open Oaks.
Cummings was at Newcastle this morning to watch Duais continue her comeback preparation, and was pleased with what he saw.
The five-year-old daughter of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award beat five rivals over 1100m on the synthetic track, having also scored over 1175m on the Warwick Farm synthetic track 12 days earlier.
Duais did not show her true form last spring and failed in Gold Trip’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1, but a scan when she returned to Cummings’ Hawkesbury stable revealed an injury.
She subsequently underwent surgery and then rehabilitation, and her trainer understandably is delighted with how she has returned.
“Duais is definitely going back to Queensland, where she won her first Group 1 in the Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm two years ago,” Cummings said.
“There is no firm plan about her resumption, but the Doomben Cup is her target and she may even tackle that first-up.
“I haven’t confirmed a jockey, but Sam Clipperton is doing everything right and has partnered her in both her trials.”
If Cummings opts to give Duais a lead-up to the Doomben Cup, he has the option of the $500,000 Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) to be run at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday week.
Both the Hollindale and Doomben Cup will be run at weight-for-age; the same as the mare’s second and third Group 1 triumphs in last year’s Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Newcastle.