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  • John Curtis


WEDNESDAY: June 2, 2021: EDWARD Cummings has left nothing to chance as he bids for a Group 1 breakthrough at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The Hawkesbury trainer, who is enjoying easily his best season since branching out on his own and setting up shop at the provincial track just over two years ago, took his classy filly Duais from his Deagon base on the northside to Brisbane racing’s headquarters last Saturday morning for a gallop prior to her lining up in Saturday’s $600,000 Queensland Oaks (2200m).

“I wanted to be sure Duais had a look there before the Oaks,” Cummings said this morning.

“Eagle Farm has a unique surface, and some horses handle it and others don’t.

“It might be a different story when Duais races on Saturday, but hopefully she will handle the track without any problems.

“She had her final gallop at Deagon yesterday morning, and is in great order and ready to go.”

Fifth generation trainer Cummings has done a superb job with Shamus Award filly Duais, who was an excellent second to Hungry Heart in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 17.

He hasn’t started her since then, but gave her a 1200m trial at Randwick on May 7 and has had her settled in Brisbane for the past week.

Cummings has an important ally for his Oaks bid in Hugh Bowman, who has already won the fillies’ classic twice on Vitesse Dane (2005) and Winx (2015).

Eleven of Cummings’ 16 career winners from his Hawkesbury base have come this season, and his horses have earned prizemoney of $679,115.

Duais can take that past the $1m mark if she wins on Saturday, courtesy of the $360,000 first prize.

Cummings is pressing ahead with plans to run his talented two-year-old Dark Rebel in Saturday week’s $1m Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm, and is hoping he makes the field.

Following an impressive debut victory at Warwick Farm on May 12, nothing went right for the Astern colt in last Saturday’s Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

He got his tongue over the bit, and stewards ordered him to trial before being permitted to race again.

Cummings cleared that hurdle yesterday when he took Dark Rebel to the Sunshine Coast, where he finished second in a four-horse 1200m trial and was subsequently given the “green light” to resume his career.

“Dark Rebel didn’t have a hard run in the Sires, and I would like to give him his chance in the Atkins as I’m sure the 1600m will really suit him,” he said.

“Because he failed to earn prizemoney last Saturday, our worry will be getting him a start next week on solely the money ($33,525) from his Warwick Farm win.

“I haven’t tried to book a jockey for the Atkins until I get a clearer picture of the likely make-up of the field.”

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