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  • John Curtis


TUESDAY: May 25, 2021: MELBOURNE racing’s glamour girl Jamie Kah will be in Hawkesbury’s corner at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Trainer Edward Cummings was quick off the mark to secure Kah, a runaway leader in her quest to win an inaugural Melbourne jockeys’ premiership, for his talented colt Dark Rebel in the $1m Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).

“I booked Jamie about a fortnight ago,” Cummings said this afternoon. “All it took was the cost of a phone call.”

Dark Rebel, an Astern colt, was purchased by Cummings for $120,000 at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale, and then syndicated, with the trainer staying in the horse as manager.

The youngster made an impressive debut at Warwick Farm on May 12, overpowering his rivals in a 2YO Handicap (1400m) to clinch a Brisbane winter carnival berth.

Cummings has been happy with Dark Rebel’s progress since that race, and is looking forward to testing him in Group company in two Brisbane assignments.

“He did his final piece of work on the course proper at Hawkesbury this morning, and will go to Queensland tomorrow,” Cummings said.

“Dark Rebel has drawn awkwardly in the Sires, but I’m still expecting him to run well.

“Whatever he does on Saturday, I’m sure he will be even better when he gets to the 1600m of the JJ Atkins.”

Also carrying a $1m purse, the Group 1 Atkins will be run at Eagle Farm on June 12.

It has already been an excellent season for fifth generation trainer Cummings – and it could get even better over the next few weekends in Brisbane.

His ATC Oaks runner-up Duais is also pleasing her trainer, and will head north tomorrow with her stablemate.

Hugh Bowman’s manager Bryan Haskins has assured Cummings that the jockey will continue his association with her in the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.

Bowman partnered the Shamus Award filly in both her recent wins; a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 31 and Group 2 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick 10 days later, and then in her fine second to Hungry Heart in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) there on April 17.

He also rode Duais in a tick-over Randwick 1200m barrier trial on May 13 when she worked home strongly to finish fifth.

Cummings, who boldly branched out on his own and set up shop at Hawkesbury just over two years ago after jointly training with his father Anthony at Randwick, is enjoying easily his best season.

Eleven winners - including a metropolitan breakthrough, a Group 2 triumph and Group 1 placing - underline the young man’s training skills.

Capturing any of the BRC Sires, Queensland Oaks and JJ Atkins – or all three – would certainly be the icing on his 2020-21 season cake.

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