• John Curtis


MONDAY: October 11, 2021: EDWARD Cummings has decided on a back-up plan with his Caulfield Cup hope Duais, who will now start twice in four days.

Cummings today confirmed his Queensland Oaks winner will contest the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at the Thousand Guineas meeting on Wednesday at Caulfield on her way to Saturday’s $5m Group 1 Cup (2400m) there.

“There are a couple of reasons for doing this, and I’m not concerned about backing her up in the space of a few days,” the Group 1 winning Hawkesbury trainer said.

“Importantly, by starting on Wednesday, it will give Duais a good look at the track before her grand final on Saturday.

“Secondly, her Cup jockey Michael Dee will get to know her in a race prior to Saturday by riding her in the Coongy.”

Duais, who has raced twice this preparation after bolting away with the Queensland Oaks (2200) at Eagle Farm in early June, is currently a $34 chance in the Caulfield Cup, with exciting front-runner Incentivise the dominant $1.90 favorite with

The Coongy Cup winner carries Caulfield Cup exemption and, whilst Duais is already qualified (9th in order of entry), two of her Wednesday rivals (Constantinople and Floating Artist, currently 30th and 31st in order of entry), are seeking to force their way into the 18-horse field.

Because of the Coongy being run on Wednesday, final acceptances for the Cup do not close until 4.30pm that day, after which the barrier draw will be done.

English import Floating Artist, chasing his fourth win in a row, is a $1.85 favorite for the Coongy, with Duais on the third line of betting at $5.50.

Cummings will have two Caulfield representatives on Wednesday, as last Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas absentee Dark Rebel will line up in the 1600m Thoroughbred Breeders Vic Handicap (Benchmark 70) for three-year-olds.

He has booked Guineas winning rider Damien Oliver to partner the colt at his Melbourne debut.

Cummings withdrew Dark Rebel from the Guineas because his blood count wasn’t quite 100 per cent.

“He is fine now, and this looks a nice race at this stage of his preparation,” he said.

Cummings believes Dark Rebel will appreciate the Melbourne way of going in a race better than he has in Sydney and Brisbane in his previous preparation.

“His work here a couple of times the reverse way and also since going to Melbourne last week has been significantly better.”

Whilst Dark Rebel holds an entry for the $2m Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 30, Cummings has not yet committed him to a start in the blue riband.

. Both Duais and Dark Rebel will face small fields of nine and eight respectively on Wednesday, and each has drawn barrier seven.

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