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  • Writer's pictureHawkesbury Race Club


WEDNESDAY: May 12, 2021: EDWARD Cummings continued his breakout season winning with an impressive debutant at Warwick Farm today – and immediately set his sights on the Brisbane winter carnival.

The Hawkesbury trainer produced first starter Dark Rebel ($16) to trounce his rivals in the 2YO Handicap (1400m), and later said there was no reason why he should not target a $1m Group 2 in Brisbane next with the colt.

That is the BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) to be run at Eagle Farm on May 29.

“The intention is to go to the Sires; it’s two and a half weeks away,” Cummings said.

“This colt can’t do anything but get better and a $1m Group 2 race sounds pretty good to me.”

Dark Rebel, who became 2016 Group 1 Golden Rose winner Astern’s fifth first crop winner, also has been nominated for the $1m Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 12.

It was a case of like mother, like son when Cummings’ newcomer handled today’s “Heavy 8” track with aplomb, leaving $1.50 favorite Cotehele (third) in his wake.

Dark Rebel’s dam She Must Be Obeyed, a daughter of renowned wet track sire Commands, also won on debut at Canterbury over 1100m on a soft track in 2011 for Cummings’ multiple Group 1 winning trainer father Anthony.

“Hugh Bowman rode the colt when third in a Rosehill 900m trial on April 27, and afterwards said not to worry about running him first-up at 1200m, so we went to 1400m,” Cummings said.

“You take it when you get good advice such as that.

“Dark Rebel has been ready to go for a little while, but small things here and there have held him back.

“I wasn’t surprised he won today on what he has shown us at home, and though I felt he would handle the heavy track, you never know until they race on it.”

Cummings, under his Myrtle House banner, paid $120,000 for Dark Rebel at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast.

“Not only is he out of a quality mare, but his sire Astern is a top-rated son of Medaglia D’Oro and performed brilliantly in Australian conditions,” he said.

“He had plenty going for him, and I was prepared to pay what that reserve price was.”

Dark Rebel (Josh Parr) gave Cummings his 11th winner of the season, and in all likelihood won’t be his only representative at the Brisbane carnival.

His classy filly Duais, who gave him a black type breakthrough in winning the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 10 before finishing second to Hungry Heart in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) there a week later, will trial in the opening 1200m heat at Randwick tomorrow morning.

The Shamus Award three-year-old is the current $6 favorite with for the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 5.

“I gave Duais an easy week after her two runs at The Championships, and then gradually built her up again,” Cummings said.

“How she trials in the morning will determine whether she has a lead-up race to the Oaks.”

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