It will be one for the ages if Duais claims the Doomben Cup on Saturday.
Since the race was first run at Weight For Age in 1990, no horse has won the Group 1 feature coming off a six-month break or longer.
The last horse to win the Doomben Cup off an extended break was the Anthony Freedman-trained Our Ivanhowe, who was successful in 2016.
The German import went into the Doomben Cup that year off a 56-day break after finishing last in the Group 1 The BMW (Tancred Stakes) at Randwick, which was won by Chris Waller’s multiple Group 1 winner, Preferment.
New Zealander Sapio claimed the 1997 Doomben Cup off a 41-day break after failing in the Hong Kong QE11 Cup to become the race’s longest priced winner at $60.
Duais will jump from barrier one in the field of 13 starters in the 2000 metre Doomben Cup and will smash the $3 million prize money barrier if she wins or finishes second.
The daughter of Shamus Award hasn’t raced since finishing among the tail enders in last year’s Melbourne Cup, which was won by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s French import Gold Trip.
Duais won Sydney and Melbourne’s Group 1 staying events in the Tancred Stakes and Australian Cup last year but missed this year’s southern carnivals following surgery to remove a bone chip.
Triple Group 1-winning trainer Edward Cummings knew something was amiss with Duais following her Melbourne Cup run and sent her for a series of scans.
“We spelled her after the Melbourne Cup, but it took us a while to find out what was wrong,” Cummings said.
“We had all the diagnostics done on her and had three x-rays taken by three different vets before it was discovered she had a bone chip.
“The scan which found the chip suggested she had been dealing with the injury right through her spring campaign before the Melbourne Cup.
“It was a bit like a marathon runner running with a stone in his shoe.”
Cummings said Duais had made a full recovery but decided to barrier trial her at Hawkesbury earlier this month instead of lining up in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Sunshine Coast.
“Have a look at her two trials and you’ll see how well she’s going,” warned Cummings.
“She arrived up there on Monday and she’s coming along well.
“She’s first-up and has got a bit of a task but she’s a good horse.”
Cummings is hopeful Duais will acquit herself well and rates the Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki as the main threat.
Zaaki is attempting to win his second Doomben Cup following his success two years ago.
Rough Habit holds the record number of wins with his famous three-peat between 1991-1993 while Perth’s Scenic Shot is the only other galloper to win the race twice at Weight For Age in 2009 and 2011.
– Racing Queensland