Australian Cup: Edward Cummings would have done Bart proud with Australian Cup success

The Australian Cup has eluded the Cummings family since the last of legend Bart’s record 13 wins in 2008 until Duais delivered for grandson Edward at Flemington.

Vindication motivated Edward Cummings’ pursuit of the $1.5m Group 1 Australian Cup with triumphant rising star Duais.

Since grandfather Bart ­extended his Australian Cup record to 13 in 2008, the ­Flemington autumn feature has eluded the legend’s son ­Anthony and grandson James.

Enter James’ younger brother Edward on Saturday at Flemington.

Sydney trainer Edward, who was “finding himself” at university back in 2008, knew how good the dominant Duais could be, and she proved it in the Australian Cup.

“I came down here wanting to win the race, I wouldn’t have been here unless I thought I could win,” Cummings said after third-elect Duais stunned favourites Think It Over and Spanish Mission.

“And I wanted to win it because my grandfather (Bart) has won it so many times, and I wanted to win it because my dad and brother have tried recently and been unlucky.

“I thought it was about time a Cummings was on the plaque, once more.”

Group 1 Queensland Oaks winner Duais, who claimed the Group 3 Coongy Handicap last spring only then to fade out of the Caulfield Cup, was a class above at Flemington under jockey Josh Parr.

With well-backed Spanish Mission leading into the straight and going strongly, Duais launched her attack from near last, tracking favourite Think It Over, to blast by the pair for a soft two-length romp.

“We’re scratching the surface,” a determined and emotional Cummings said.

“We thought we’d win, we were very confident that we just needed a fair crack at them and we got that today and she showed she’s well and truly good enough.

“She’s beaten them comfortably … and I think they’ll find it hard to beat her from here on in.”

Duais will return to Sydney to be aimed at the Group 1 Tancred Stakes and potentially the Queen Elizabeth.

“On the strength of that win we‘d have to consider the Queen Elizabeth,” Cummings said.

“If she was very unlucky not to have beaten Verry Elleegant in the Chipping Norton, well, that form is as good as anything in the country right now.

“We’re cooking with gas.”

A return to Melbourne in the spring is a given, with Group 1 options aplenty.

“We’ll see how we go (Cups campaign), she might be good enough for the Cox Plate too,” Cummings said.

Parr, who rode a Flemington double last Saturday, was elated to secure a Group 1 at Headquarters.

“I’m struggling for words which isn’t too common with me,” Parr said.

“What a thrill to ride a Group 1 winner at Flemington … from near the back of the field, the Australian Cup, I’m over the moon.”

Think It Over’s jockey Nash Rawiller praised the winner’s performance.

“You could go through and try and make a hundred excuses but at the end of the day the horse (Think It Over) ran his heart out,” Rawiller said.

“Credit to the winner … she did follow us into the race but we had the beautiful run we wanted.”

Originally published as Australian Cup: Edward Cummings would have done Bart proud with Australian Cup success

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