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  • John Curtis


SUNDAY: April 18, 2021: PERHAPS they should rename it the Garry White Orange Gold Cup!

The experienced Hawkesbury trainer has certainly put his stamp on the race, winning Orange Jockey Club’s flagship race for a remarkable sixth time last Friday, including three of the last four years.

White’s Brown Thomas (Mathew Cahill) went to the post a $3.90 favorite at the Showcase meeting and didn’t give his backers any cause for concern.

Raced by the trainer’s long-time client, Grahame Mapp’s Hobartville Stud, the Lope De Vega five-year-old romped home by more than four lengths.

It was the gelding’s fifth victory, and his second at Orange; the other three being at his home track.

Not only has White won six Orange Cups, but he has doubled up twice.

He won it on two occasions with Aussie Statesman, and then Letter To Juliette scored in 2018 and 2019.

His other winner was Peaceful Joe, who also won a Hawkesbury Gold Cup.

White and successful country jockey Cahill go back a long way, and the pair has teamed for the last three Cup successes.

White’s only loss in the Orange feature was Brown Thomas (Travis Wolfgram), who was unplaced last year when a $10 chance.

He set his sights on a much better outcome this year, and prepared the gelding with two lead-up runs and a tick over Randwick 1080m trial on the synthetic track after his third in the 1600m Cup Prelude at Orange on March 21.

He carried 58kg then with Blake Spriggs aboard, and dropped 3kg in the Cup as he went to a more suitable 2100m.

. Whilst White added to his Orange Cup record, fellow Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings almost pulled off his first Group 1 triumph at Royal Randwick yesterday.

The fifth generation trainer, seeking to add his name to the Australian Oaks honour roll, finished second with $16 chance Duais (Hugh Bowman), who proved her class by coming from last after drawing the outside barrier.

In defeat though, Cummings covered himself with glory, clearly underlining his skills as a trainer in his own right.

After sharing duties with his father Anthony at Randwick for several years, he made the decision to go solo just over two years ago.

He set up shop at Hawkesbury, and is enjoying a breakout season, having won 10 races since August 1 and his team earning $618,000 prizemoney.

Cummings took Duais from a Newcastle Maiden (1300m) victory last December to clinch a midweek Warwick Farm success on March 31 and then the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last week.

Shamus Award three-year-old Duais is building a fine record, having won three races and been runner-up four times from only nine starts.

Cummings is undecided about his filly’s immediate racing future.

“I’ll see how she comes out of racing two weekends in succession, and take this week to think it over,” he said today.

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