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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: May 1, 2022: HAWKESBURY’S Edward Cummings clinched a maiden Group 1 at last year’s Brisbane winter carnival.

Now he is hoping to put another Brisbane feature beside his name – but on this occasion with the opposite sex.

Cummings’ stable star Duais romped away with the 2021 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm, and this season has added another two Group 1’s to her imposing record.

This time, he is eyeing off the $1m Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at that track, on May 28, with yesterday’s impressive Eagle Farm winner Three Wise Men.

Having his fourth start this campaign and going from wet tracks to firmer ground, Three Wise Men ($5.50) finished too strongly for his rivals in the Benchmark 75 Handicap (1825m) and scored by two and a quarter lengths from Wyong-trained Casino Mondial ($12) and Go Darcy ($9).

Cummings, who is enjoying a stellar season with 15 wins and prizemoney earnings of just over $2.5m, pulled the right rein with the three-year-old yesterday.

He also accepted with him in the $350,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m), but settled on the longer Benchmark race, even though it was against older horses.

“I felt he was looking for the 1800m, and also it suited his Derby preparation better,” Cummings said this afternoon.

“Three Wise Men will go to the $250,000 Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday week, and then the Derby a fortnight later.”

Brisbane jockey Ben Thompson rode Three Wise Men yesterday, but Cummings stresses no booking has been confirmed for the gelding’s next two assignments.

Cummings paid $50,000 for Three Wise Men at the 2020 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale.

A son of 2016 Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet, he is the seventh foal of the Redoute’s Choice mare Moonlight Music, a four times winner.

On the strength of yesterday’s strong performance, Three Wise Men has firmed to $26 with for the Queensland Derby.

Cummings thought enough of the gelding to take him to Brisbane last year for the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) for two-year-olds at Eagle Farm, and he ran ninth to Converge.

He was given a break afterwards, and won a Provincial & Country Maiden (1300m) first up on his home track on September 9 for Hugh Bowman.

. Cummings, who missed seeing his gelding win in Brisbane as he was attending a charity function, also had Prompt Prodigy race at the Eagle Farm meeting.

The four-year-old, who was runner-up in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens 12 months ago, was resuming in the Class 6 Plate (1400m) and finished ninth to Bullfinch after drawing wide.

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