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  • John Curtis


SATURDAY: September 18, 2021: HAWKESBURY’S Group 1 winning mare Duais is ready to step up in distance.

Trainer Edward Cummings was understandably delighted with Duais’ close third in yesterday’s Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle at the beginning of her four-year-old season.

Most likely, she will now proceed to the $1m Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 2 as her final lead-up to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16.

“I was really happy with Duais’ Cameron run; she went great,” Cummings said this morning.

“She seems fine, and her next run is likely to be the Hill Stakes as the Caulfield Cup is only a fortnight after that.”

Only three mares – Mulan Princess (51kg in 2000), Absolutelyfabulous (53kg in 2009) and Raspberries (53kg in 2011) – have won Newcastle’s feature spring sprint this century, and all carried considerably less weight than Duais’ 56.5kg yesterday, adding further lustre to her performance.

Duais showed her 2400m prowess by winning the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm in early June after finishing second to Hungry Heart in the Group 1 ATC Oaks at Randwick at her previous start on April 17.

She has been given 51kg in the Caulfield Cup; a weight which Cummings is happy with and what he expected.

Ethereal (2001) won the Queensland Oaks and later that season captured the Caulfield Cup with 51kg, and then the Melbourne Cup (3200m) with 52kg.

As the Hill Stakes is run at weight-for-age, Duais cannot be penalised should she win that race.

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