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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: May 25, 2023: EDWARD Cummings hit double figures for the third consecutive season when Queenmaker trounced her rivals at Canterbury yesterday.

The triple Group 1 winning Hawkesbury trainer has now prepared 41 winners in that period and, with a solo career 46, is verging on a half century since branching out on his own just over four years ago.

Queenmaker ($3 favorite), ridden by apprentices’ premiership leader Zac Lloyd, sustained a strong burst from the 600m in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1900m) to easily defeat Bak Da Man ($26) and By Nine ($16), posting her third win from 18 starts.

But her trainer ponders what might have been with better fortune as she has run nine placings – and seven of them have been seconds.

“Queenmaker has been an unlucky mare in that she has had a few ordinary rides and her record definitely should be even better,” Cummings said today.

“It’s great to see her in such good form, and we have a couple of options with her in the coming weeks provided she continues to do well in the stable.

Cummings paid $35,000 for the now four-year-old daughter of Tavistock from a Redoute’s Choice mare (Ijaaza) at the 2020 Inglis Classic yearling sale, and she has now returned just over $127,000 in prizemoney.

The trainer’s wife Sarah part-owns the mare, who has won two of her last three starts and was a strong-finishing second over 1800m on the Kensington track in the other race a fortnight ago.

Cummings previously won a Queensland Oaks with his triple Group 1 winner Duais two years ago, and had hoped to start Queenmaker in last year’s renewal at Eagle Farm, but she was balloted out.

Meanwhile, Duais has returned to her Hawkesbury stable following her excellent first-up fourth to Huetor in last Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).

It was her first run since November 1’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington and subsequently undergoing surgery to remove a bone chip from her off fore fetlock late last year, which undoubtedly had a major bearing on her below par spring form.

“Duais has pulled up well, and will go back north for the Q22 at Eagle Farm on June 10,” Cummings said.

As with the Doomben Cup, the $1.2m Group 2 Q22 (2200m) also will be run at weight-for-age.

Stablemate Arts, who brilliantly won the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 1 during The Championships, is spelling and Cummings believes she measure up to good races next season as a four-year-old.

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