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  • John Curtis


WEDNESDAY: December 2, 2020: SUMMER’S here and Edward Cummings is warming up.

Cummings’ victory with lightly-raced filly Duais at Newcastle yesterday meant he has already equalled last season’s four-win tally in only the first four months of the new season since branching out on his own at Hawkesbury early last year.

And there’s more to come.

Cummings has already qualified his first finalist (Tri Nations) in the Summer Provincial Series, and may be chasing a city breakthrough in his own right (after previously training in partnership with his father Anthony at Royal Randwick) with recent debut winner Evening Bride on the Kensington track on Friday.

“We’ve got a nice team in work at present and the stable is going well,” Cummings said this morning.

“But I’m always open to take more horses.”

Duais (Glyn Schofield) at only her third start, and with blinkers off, led home a Hawkesbury trifecta in yesterday’s Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (900m) at Newcastle.

A well-supported $2.40 favorite, she defeated Brad Widdup’s Adelaide’s Light ($4.80) and Noel Mayfield-Smith’s $51 roughie Dimitri.

The well-named daughter of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award, Duais is a younger half-sister to last year’s Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (the race which started Winx’s remarkable unbeaten run) winner Baccarat Baby, and Cummings is optimistic better things are in store.

“She is certainly going to appreciate longer distances,” he said. “Hopefully, she can develop into an Oaks type next year.”

Duais is raced by Matthew Irwin and the Harris Family, who purchased her dam Meerlust (by Johannesburg) at the 2009 Scone yearling sale.

Meerlust scored on debut in a Grafton Maiden (1000m) in March, 2011 for Tamworth trainer Sue Grills and was ridden by her former outstanding apprentice, the late Tim Bell.

She had issues and raced only five times before being retired to stud.

“Duais’ breeders take their turns in choosing a trainer for their horses, and I’m grateful they gave this filly to me just after I started out on my own at Hawkesbury,” Cummings explained.

Bull Point filly Evening Bride, who began her career in winning style at Gosford on November 21, is an acceptor for Friday’s 3YO Benchmark 68 Handicap (1100m) at the Kensington meeting.

Cummings is likely to also accept with her in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) on her home track on Sunday, and then study both fields before making a decision which way to go with the filly.

Tri Nations qualified for the $150,000 Summer Provincial Series Final (1600m) at Wyong on January 2 with a late closing third in the second 1350m heat there last Thursday.

“There are a couple of options with him,” Cummings said. “He will definitely have another start and perhaps two leading up to the final.”

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