Edward Cummings has called on an influential figure in the storied career of his famous grandfather to help deliver another Caulfield Cup for one of Australian racing’s most prominent families.
Cummings will have his first Caulfield Cup runner when Duais takes her place as a genuine lightweight chance with 51kg in the $5 million race.
He will be trying to emulate his late grandfather Bart who trained the last of his record seven Caulfield Cup winners when Viewed saluted in 2009.
And Cummings will do it with the assistance of Reg Fleming, a long-serving foreman for Bart’s Melbourne stable who now works for his brother James as part of the Godolphin operation.
Since arriving in Melbourne, Duais has been stabled at Godolphin’s Carbine Lodge at Flemington and the Cummings family connection has already worked its magic.
In spite of claiming the Queensland Oaks during the Brisbane winter carnival, Duais barely rated a mention in Caulfield Cup discussions – until Wednesday.
Her victory in the Coongy Cup so close to a major spring target was a reward for a reconfigured but adventurous piece of programming and has her trainer daring she can do it again on Saturday.
“The race on Wednesday fitted well for a number of reasons,” Cummings said.
“Obviously she has backed up well in the past and, just as importantly, during the Melbourne spring those stayers having a three-day back-up is normally a tried and proven formula.
“She’s probably exceeded expectations having won the way she did … and I’d say she is absolutely going to fire on Saturday as a result.”
Cummings has a small yard on Sydney’s western outskirts and with the help of Fleming and other Godolphin staff, he is training Duais remotely because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“With someone like Reg Fleming keeping an eye on her … I feel very comfortable with her being in his hands and the job he is doing.”
Duais is a $21 chance in a betting market that has Incentivise as a clear-cut favourite to continue his march to the top of Australia’s staying ranks.
Incentivise is on a streak that stretched to eight wins with a gritty victory in the Turnbull Stakes.
It was his second Group One success in as many starts since joining trainer Peter Moody’s stable after making a name for himself in Brisbane through the winter months.
In an ominous sign, Moody expects Incentivise to be better again at Caulfield.
“He’s had a sort of faultless build into the race,” Moody said.
“So that coupled with the form, does that entitle him to be a short-priced favourite?
“I’m not sure, but it entitles him to have every possible chance to win the race.”
The Caulfield Cup is expected to be run on testing ground with forecast rain tipping the surface into the heavy range.