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  • Provincial Racing NSW


EDWARD Cummings has already won three Group 1s in a relatively brief solo career.

But the Hawkesbury trainer has set his sights on achieving two more on Saturday – and in different states.

Cummings is looking forward to running both his triple Group 1 winner Duais in the $5m wfa Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley, and Long Genes in the $2m Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.

Soon to retire Melbourne ace Damien Oliver will have his final Cox Plate ride on Duais, whilst Sydney young gun Tyler Schiller has the Spring Champion mount on Long Genes.

The stablemates are rated $26 chances for their respective assignments in the latest fixed odds markets.

Cummings has six-year-old mare Duais on song for a Cox Plate tilt following excellent performances at her last two Group 1 starts in Melbourne; both at the same weight-for-age conditions as Saturday’s major.

She made nice ground to finish third, beaten just over a length, to Plate rival Alligator Blood (ridden by Oliver) in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 23, then again ran third, after going back to last from the outside barrier, to the same horse in the Might And Power Stakes (2000m) there on October 14.

Cummings is understandably delighted with his mare’s progress this campaign, and considers she is now at her top after four starts (two in Sydney and the last two in Melbourne).

“She will go to the Breakfast With The Best gallops at The Valley on Tuesday morning,” he said.

“It’s important for Duais to get experience on the track, having not raced on the tight circuit there previously.”

And the Cox Plate may not be Duais’ spring swansong either, with Cummings hinting at giving his mare the opportunity to star on the world stage.

“Depending on how she performs on Saturday and pulls up, there is also the $3m TAB Champions Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11 on the final day of the carnival,” he said.

Cummings also revealed Duais will be amongst overseas nominations for both the Vase (2000m) and Cup (2400m) at Hong Kong’s International race meeting at Sha Tin on December 10.

“In regard to Long Genes, I was very impressed with his seventh (beaten less than two lengths) in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on October 14,” Cummings said.

“Tyler Schiller rode him then and stays with him in the Spring Champion.”

Though Cummings’ immediate focus is on Saturday with Duais and Long Genes, he is also looking forward to the $10m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens a week later.

He will be represented by the talented Strait Acer, who was a late closing second to Viena Princess in the $1m Silver Eagle (1300m) at Randwick on the same day Long Genes contested the Group 2 Gloaming.

Tommy Berry rode Strait Acer then, but goes on to Epsom runner-up Kovalica, and Schiller has taken the mount.

*Story John Curtis, October 23, 2023 - Pic supplied*

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