Edward Cummings believes that his classy mare Duais can have an impact on Saturday when she lines up in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
The three-time G1 winner will be ridden by Craig Williams this weekend and will jump from barrier seven in the 1800-metre contest.
“I like her chances,” Cummings said.
“She’s drawn well, she gets a good jockey who’s hungry for more success, a Good track at Caulfield, she’s got pretty good stats there in so far as she’s always run well there.
“The power’s all there, the speed’s there, we’re just looking for that perfect melting pot of circumstances for her to just get in touch at the right time in a race to bring her into it and have the last crack.”
Duais hasn’t had circumstances in her favour so far this preparation, where she finished midfield on her resumption in the G1 Winx Stakes before beating a couple of her rivals home in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes at her most recent start.
“I thought her first-up run was excellent, she was just denied clear running at a vital stage, got clear at about the 150m and really hit the line quite nicely, really, over an unsuitable trip,” Cummings said.
“She’s definitely on target. I thought her second run was effectively a barrier trial, for want of a better expression.
“It was an unfortunate circumstance where we just got dragged out of the race and then the horses up on speed started going a leisurely gallop and we just got caught back in no man’s land.
“She finished off in good sectionals, she looked to be stretching out quite nicely I thought, she ran more or less a faster last 600m than she did the day she won the Australian Cup.
“The speed is still there for her, it’s just a matter of trying to get into the races now beyond a mile where she’s going to be best suited, draw well, all those sorts of things, but also be in a striking position when the real pressure goes on at the 600m.
“I think if she’s there or thereabouts, she knows what to do and she certainly hasn’t lost her zest for racing.”
Duais is nominated for all three majors in Melbourne this Spring Carnival and Cummings noted that there are several possible options for her in both Melbourne and Sydney over the coming weeks, although he did reveal that it will be unlikely that she will back up next week in the G1 Metropolitan at Randwick.
“The likeliest step forward for her would either be to go to the Turnbull in two weeks or the Might And Power in three weeks, or, if we got a very good result on Saturday, there’d be the potential for us to keep her very fresh, maybe a tick-over trial and head to a Cox Plate,” he said.
Sportsbet has Duais at $23 in its market for the Underwood Stakes.
In other stable news, Cummings said that Strait Acer, who brought up his third-straight win at Randwick last week, will head towards the Silver Eagle on October 14 before potentially pushing on towards the Golden Eagle.