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DUAIS GETS A NEW RIDER FOR APOLLO RETURN


TUESDAY: February 1, 2022: HAWKESBURY’S Group 1 winning mare Duais will have a new rider when she returns to racing at Royal Randwick on Saturday week.

Trainer Edward Cummings has confirmed Josh Parr as the four-year-old’s partner when she launches a new campaign in the $250,000 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).

“Josh has been booked for Duais’ first two runs this time,” Cummings said this afternoon.

“He will also ride her in the Chipping Norton Stakes.”

Both are weight-for-age races; with the latter carrying a $600,000 prize and also to be run at Randwick over 1600m on February 26.

Hugh Bowman has been Duais’ rider in three of her five wins to date, including two in Sydney and a runaway victory in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm last June.

However, he has had other commitments in both trials Duais has contested on January 20 at Warwick Farm and at Rosehill Gardens yesterday morning, enabling Parr to get the “feel” of the daughter of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award.

Duais finished ninth to brilliant three-year-old Home Affairs in the 800m trial at Warwick Farm, and again filled the same spot behind tearaway leader and subsequent winner Riodini in yesterday’s 1000m heat.

“I’ve been happy with both her trials,” Cummings said. “She has finished off nicely over unsuitable distances.”

Duais has not raced since running down the course in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16 after being ridden out of character up on the pace. She had won the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at the same track only three days earlier.

Like fellow Hawkesbury mare Icebath, Duais is an entrant for the $5m All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 19, but Cummings stressed no decision had yet been made as to whether she would venture south.

“It may be by the time she runs in the Chipping Norton, she could be looking for a middle distance,” he said.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but at this stage I haven’t promoted an All-Star Mile run.”

When asked if he had a main objective with Duais this autumn, Cummings had a succinct reply.

“Win as many races as we can with her,” he said.

Duais has raced only 14 times for five wins and as many placings for overall earnings of almost $888,000.

. There have been a couple of changes to scheduled Hawkesbury barrier trial dates.

The session initially planned for Monday, February 14 has been moved to Friday, February 18 and Monday, March 21 has been moved back a week to Monday, March 28.

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