Edward Cummings confidence levels went up a notch when Hugh Bowman locked in to ride Duais in Saturday’s $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
The young Hawkesbury-based trainer within two weeks went from having his first city winner to winning a Group race when Duais took out the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday.
“She’s untapped and Hugh Bowman chased her, why wouldn’t I have a level of confidence,” Cummings said.
“We haven’t got anywhere near the bottom of her and she’s already here.
“She’s a natural staying type and has arguably the best rider in Australia barracking for her and he put his hand up to ride her.
“It’s not like he didn’t have a ride, he jumped off the second favourite.”
The Oaks journey started on a midwinter’s day last year when the daughter of Shamus Award was having just her second race start.
“In July last year she ran fifth on the Kenso behind Giovanni Run and that was the day I thought I had a filly that might run 2000 metres so I started to think I might have an Oaks filly,” he said.
“Since that run she has confirmed what I’d hoped and here we are.”
Edward Cummings after Duais won the Adrian Knox Stakes. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
For Cummings, like any racehorse trainer, a Group 1 is the pinnacle of achievement but unlike other trainers, Edward hails from a family rich in Group 1 tradition.
Grandfather Bart won 266 of them while father Anthony has 20 and brother James 25. After 12 Group 1 starts, 11 in partnership and Prompt Prodigy in last week’s Australian Derby, Edward believes this is clearly his best chance yet.
“I haven’t had the taste of one running well in a Group 1 yet but I’m hopeful that changes on Saturday,” he said.
“Things didn’t play out for us the other day. The ground was incredibly testing and he’s nowhere near the same horse in that ground.”
Duais is rated a $14 chance for the Australian Oaks with TAB Fixed Odds. The favourite is Harmony Rose at $3.40 ahead of Montefilia at $4.80 with Amarelinha and Hungry Heart at $5.
“Barrier 10 in what appears like it will be a slowly run Oaks could be tricky but it’s kind of like Augusta,” Cummings said.
“Augusta only turns it on, in the back nine on Sunday.
“Group One Oaks over a mile and a half only gets interesting from the 1000 (metres) to the winning post.
“This filly has a pretty big engine I reckon and whatever happens on Saturday, I’m sure she’s going to come back bigger and stronger and more even more exciting next prep.”
Originally published asSeal of approval has Cummings ready to join the Group 1 club
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