EVENING BRIDE STAYS UNBEATEN THIS CAMPAIGN
SATURDAY: January 1, 2022: EDWARD Cummings at Gosford yesterday won the last NSW race of the calendar year – and is looking forward to the second half of the 2021-22 season.
The Group 1 winning Hawkesbury trainer clinched his seventh success of the season (two more than in the same period 12 months back) and is seeking to better last season’s benchmark of 13 winners.
Lightly-raced four-year-old mare Evening Bride ($7.50) made it two wins from as many starts this season when she beat Confessed ($17) and Starboreta ($8.50) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) against her own sex.
Whilst her victory wasn’t surprising, her starting price certainly was considering she staged a tremendous performance, albeit in weaker class, to overpower her rivals in a Benchmark 58 Handicap (1000m) at Goulburn on December 17 at her first start since January.
“Evening Bride came back into work earlier in the year for another preparation, but was a bit sore behind so we didn’t persevere and turned her out,” Cummings explained this morning.
“She won yesterday’s race on ability as she got tired over the closing stages and laid in.
“No doubt there is further improvement in her and I will look for another suitable race in the coming weeks and keep her at 1200m.”
Evening Bride, a daughter of Bull Point, is the first foal of the Postponed mare Supper, who trialled four times for Cummings’ brother James, but never raced.
“Evening Bride is a well-bred mare,” Cummings said. “She is a sister to Poste Restante, who won seven races (two in New Zealand and five in Brisbane).
“She is putting together a nice record, having won three of her only six starts.”
Cummings capped his most successful season last year since branching out on his own at Hawkesbury in early 2018 by clinching a maiden Group 1 triumph with Duais in the Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm last June.
Evening Bride was the 25th winner of his solo career, and he is looking forward to building on that record during the remaining seven months of the current season.
“I have been educating a number of young horses, and will have more runners during the second half of the season than we have had so far,” he said.
Cummings, however, is in no rush with his quality mare Duais, who hasn’t started since the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16 when ridden upside down. She won the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at the same track three days earlier.
“Duais came into the stables for a while, and is now having a fortnight away on the water walker during the hot weather,” he said.
Ironically, Evening Bride’s younger brother Barrabool Ace (Supper’s second foal) was distanced at both starts in Victoria last winter and was retired.
. HOOFNOTE: Evening Bride’s apprentice rider Chris Williams had his comeback victory (his first since Mars at Canterbury in February) soured in the stewards’ room after the last race.
Williams pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding for failing to prevent his mount from shifting in near the 100m when insufficiently clear of Moon Reader, which was hampered and carried in across the running of Testimonial, which had to be checked and lost its rightful running.
His suspension will begin on January 10, and he will be able to resume riding on January 19.