Coongy Cup run to benefit Duais

The days of running a horse three days before a major Spring Carnival race are rare these days, but Edward Cummings has gone back to yesteryear with Duais.

Safely in the Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) field, Duais does not need to win the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Wednesday to cement her place.

Instead, Cummings sees the race as being more beneficial than an early morning gallop at the track.

Cummings’ grandfather is Australian Racing Hall of Fame Legend Bart Cummings who invariably started his Melbourne Cup runners at Flemington on Derby Day, three days before the Cup.

The Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) was a favourite for Bart Cummings while the Hotham Handicap, or one of its many names over the years, was also used to peak his horses.

It proved a winning formula with Cummings winning 12 Melbourne Cups and while it is rare for Caulfield Cup hopes to race on the Wednesday and back-up on Saturday, it is not without precedence.

Duais showed staying potential last autumn finishing second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick and later winning the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm.

Wednesday’s race will be the third of her current preparation and will give her Caulfield Cup jockey Michael Dee a feel of her under race conditions.

“It’s not a matter of fitness for her, it’s more about having some experience at the track,” Cummings told SENTrack.

“She’ll get back and run on, but she will take more out of a racing experience than working on her own early in the morning which would have been the case had she not run.

“There is more for her to gain by running on Wednesday and topping her off perfectly for the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.”

After finishing sixth to Think It Over in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 2, Duais was transferred south to Flemington.

Cummings has been unable to travel due to COVID restrictions, and the mare has been at the Godolphin stables of his brother James.

“They’ve come off a pretty successful last week and I dare say she’s in pretty safe hands and settling in pretty nicely,” Cummings said.

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