Spring Plans for Cup Hope Duais Announced

Last Updated 2 weeks ago | Commercial content | 18+
Spring Plans for Cup Hope Duais Announced

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 (© imago images) – RACING MELBOURNE CUP, Horses race past the post on the first lap of Race 7, the Melbourne Cup on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne.

Star mare Duais is heading for the Melbourne Cup. The three-time Group 1 winner has now had plans made by trainer Edward Cummings as her handler looks for more top-level glory before November 1.

Prep Taking Shape with Winx Up First

Duais truly came to public prominence when having a storming Autumn Carnival. During that she routed her Australian Cup and Tancred Stakes fields over 2000 and 2400 metres respectively.

Now, heading for a fifth birthday, the mare is among the favourites for both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.

For some horses, viable Group 1 targets aren’t easy to come by. The Winx Stakes is only a few weeks away however and, even at just 1400 metres, it presents Spring Carnival hopes with a first great test of the season. This may be where Duais goes first.

Apparently working very well at home, the daughter of Shamus Award is heading for a trial on August 3. After that, she’ll be trained towards the Winx Stakes which comes up on August 20.

The Winx, according to Cummings, should be the first of a pair of runs in Sydney. The George Main at Randwick on September 17 over 1600 metres should be next before she then heads to Melbourne.

Weights Awaited Before Post-Sydney Targets Finalised

With her first two runs organised, where Duais goes after may only be decided once the weights for the Melbourne Cup are announced.

When Racing Victoria released the weights, should the mare be nicely weighted but almost certain to get a run, then she may take in some of the top weight-for-age lead-up races ahead of her big assignment at Flemington.

Already a 2000 metre winner at Flemington, the Turnbull Stakes appears ideal. Her camp is likely to find out what weight she’s assigned in the cups during George Main week. Only then will final preps be decided on.

Getting the right weight is one of two major things a Cup horse needs. That, and durability are two things imparted on Cummings by his grandfather Bart.

The ‘Cups King’ won the Melbourne Cup some 13 times. His wisdom may play a crucial part in Edward preparing Duais to perfection. It seems Duais has the toughness needed, with her racing weight yet to be discovered.

On the weights front, a major overseas race has had initial handicap weights announced. Weights for the Ebor at York, which takes place over 2800 metres on August 20, were announced in recent days.

While weight-for-age races and three-year-old-only events such as the St Leger may be the European races to watch, the Ebor is a very competitive handicap and has proven to be a decent Melbourne Cup trial in the past.

With trainers not likely to want a big weight, watch for those in the middle to lower end of the handicap at York. Benaud and Valley Forge are in that category and may yet end up in Melbourne.

Read more news about the Melbourne Cup.

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