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  • John Curtis


MONDAY: October 18, 2021: HAWKESBURY’S Group 1 winning mare Duais is out of the Melbourne Cup – and trainer Edward Cummings is looking to the future with her.

Duais returned home this morning following her unplaced run in last Saturday’s $5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) and will go for a spell.

Following her victory in last Wednesday’s Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield, she raced too close to the lead in the Caulfield Cup and, as a result, didn’t produce her normal strong finish and faded to 16th behind “wonder horse” Incentivise, now a short-priced favorite at $2.30 with for the $7.75m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 2.

“Duais has pulled up fine, and I nearly continued on with her to Flemington,” Cummings said this afternoon.

“But it is in her best interests to pull the pin now on the spring, and give her a spell and look to the future.

“There are plenty of feature races next year.”

Duais’ runaway victory in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm in early June highlights her five career victories to date from only 14 starts, and she has earned $887,965.

Stablemate Dark Rebel has also returned from Melbourne, and is another heading for a spell.

Whilst Duais’ spring campaign is over, Cummings is focusing on the $700,000 The Four Pillars Midway (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday week; with Sunborn his representative in the inaugural running.

He has booked Glyn Schofield to ride the mare, whom he partnered when fourth to Cream Rises in a 1250m Open trial at Hawkesbury this morning.

Schofield, who has just returned to race riding after being sidelined since last December because of nerve issues stemming from his neck, rode Sunborn at her debut when she won a 2YO Maiden Plate (900m) at Newcastle in December, 2019.

Cummings gave the Casino Prince four-year-old a fortnight’s break in the paddock after she finished third to Margie Bee in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m) against her own sex at a midweek metropolitan meeting at Gosford on September 22.

“She has been back at the stables for a week, and had a good blow after this morning’s trial,” Cummings said.

“That will bring her on nicely, and we’ve got another 12 days to have her spot on for The Four Pillars.”

Sunborn goes into Saturday week’s new race in splendid form, having won twice at the provincials and been placed twice at midweek city meetings from her last four starts.

Her recent victories were both on her home track, in a Class 1 Handicap (1300m) on August 10 and Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) on September 9.

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