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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Apr 26, 2022

SUNDAY: April 24, 2022: AS triple Group 1 winner Duais rests after a brilliant autumn campaign, her stablemate Sunborn is keeping Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings’ flag flying high.

The talented four-year-old mare burst into the city limelight with her first metropolitan success at Royal Randwick yesterday.

Untroubled by the “Heavy 10” track, Sunborn ($7) gave a sign of better things to come when she easily accounted for Impulse Control ($8.50) and another Hawkesbury mare, Mitch and Desiree Kearney’s Magic Talent ($21), in the Midway Handicap (1100m).

Sunborn had not raced since early February when seventh at Warwick Farm, and Cummings purposely held her back for yesterday’s assignment.

“She went on the water walker, and didn’t miss any work,” Cummings said today.

“I was trying to avoid the heavy tracks and wait for easier races when the Sydney carnival was over.

“Even though it was very heavy yesterday and the 1100m was short of her best, I felt the conditions would actually work in her favour.

“She should have won the Inglis Millennium over that distance at Warwick Farm (fifth to Prime Star) two years ago, and the track was bottomless that day.”

Cummings wasted no time booking Sydney’s leading jockey James McDonald for the Benchmark 72 Handicap.

“Hugh Bowman rode Sunborn in a Warwick Farm trial on April 11 and when he told me he would be away for yesterday’s meeting, I booked James straight away,” he explained.

Cummings had plenty of inside “info” when he bought Sunborn for $58,000 at the 2019 Inglis Classic yearling sale Highway session.

His father Anthony trained both her sire Casino Prince (2008 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes winner and Doncaster Mile runner-up that year) and the Fastnet Rock mare Honeymoon Cruise, who raced only three times,” he explained.

“Dad bred Sunborn and also trained her first foal Making Whoopee (who won at Warwick Farm in 2019 and was retired after only four starts).”

Sunborn’s victory yesterday lifted her earnings toward $200,000, but good fortune hasn’t always been her friend and her trainer is adamant she already should have won a lot more.

Nonetheless, he is keen to give the mare her chance interstate when the opportunity arises.

“There are a few options for her, but we will have to get her rating up first to ensure she can run in those better races,” he said.

. Duais has been spelling for a week, and will have another five weeks’ off before Cummings begins pre-training with her.

“Given her runaway victory in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Newcastle (transferred from Rosehill Gardens) last month, the Cups in Melbourne are obviously our target,” Cummings said.

“The Cox Plate is an option, but that will depend on how she is progressing in her spring preparation.”

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