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Talented mare Duais is following the trail blazed by the great Makybe Diva


Trainer Edward Cummings concentrates on Tancred Stakes for Duais before a decision on the mare’s long-term big-race goals.

Duais can equal the unique feat of the mighty Makybe Diva and enable trainer Edward Cummings to continue a family tradition if she wins the Group 1 $1.5m Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Makybe Diva remains the only mare to win the Australian Cup and Tancred Stakes double during her phenomenal 2005 campaign that ended with an unprecedented third Melbourne Cup.

But trainer Edward Cummings has Duais primed to follow the famous trail blazed so successfully by Hall of Famer Makybe Diva.

Cummings said Duais has thrived since returning to his Hawkesbury stables after her brilliant effort at Flemington beat Think It Over and Spanish Mission in the Australian Cup.

The trio are set to renew their rivalry in the Tancred Stakes.

“I feel Duais established herself as a top-class weight-for-age horse with her Australian Cup win,” Cummings said.

“She is improving all the time and is only going to be more confident.

“I would compare her to the typical long-distance African runner – she is very light on her feet but very powerful.

“Josh (Parr, jockey) mentioned she finds things very easy. Other horses are not far off their top and she is going half pace. This is why she can sprint so well off any speed.”

Cummings is attempting to win his first Tancred Stakes and become the fourth member of his family to win the nation’s only 2400m Group 1 weight-for-age race.

The trainer’s grandfather, Bart Cummings prepared three winners of the Tancred with champion Beau Zam (1988), Trissaro (1983) and Natural Trump (1971).

Edward’s father, Anthony, prepared Fiveandahalfstar to win in 2013, and his brother, James, trained the 2019 Tancred Stakes winner, Avilius.

Duais is the $3 favourite to win the Tancred Stakes ahead of Think It Over at $3.90 with Spanish Mission next at $4.40. In other big-race news:

■ Star apprentice Reece Jones gets his first Group 1 ride on $151 rank outsider Avion Fury in the Tancred Stakes.

■ Chris Waller has three starters in the Tancred Stakes with Great House, Sheraz and Mightybeel.

■ Waller also has three entries for the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stakes (2000m) with Hinged, Fangirl and Pretty Amazing.

■ Unbeaten Queensland filly Gypsy Goddess is the $3.90 favourite for the Vinery Stud Stakes ahead of Hinged at $4.20.

■ Golden Slipper-winning jockey Brenton Avdulla has Group 1 rides on Sheraz (Tancred) and Hinged (Vinery Stud Stakes).

■ New Zealand training legend Murray Baker is competing at his final Sydney autumn carnival before retirement and has The Chosen One in the Tancred Stakes and Derby hopefuls Regal Lion and White Noise in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes.

Cummings has Melbourne Cup ambitions for Duais which could influence his decision about the mare’s ultimate Group 1 goal during The Championships at Royal Randwick next month.

Duais is entered for both the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and the $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 9.

“There are four million reasons to run in the Queen Elizabeth,” Cummings said.

“But the Sydney Cup is worth $2 million and she has only 51kg. It is an opportunity to try her at two miles with a long-term view of the Melbourne Cup.

“They are both good options but we will get through the Tancred Stakes first before making that decision on what race she runs in at Randwick.”

Originally published as Edward Cummings has Australian Cup winner Duais primed for Tancred showdown



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