Edward Cummings‘ flying Australian Cup winning mare Duais was too good again relishing the mile and a half at Newcastle on Monday to score a dominant three and a half-length win in the rescheduled Group 1 $1.5 million Tancred Stakes (2400m).
Moved from the washed-out Rosehill meeting last Saturday, this year’s Tancred Stakes resulted in a one-horse affair with Shamus Award mare Duais coming from last to first in a powerhouse finish to run her rivals ragged.
Given a patient ride by Joshua Parr, the well-backed favourite was simply too good late, still last on the turn before hitting the front inside the final furlong and powering away for a three and a half-length win over the Joe Pride-trained Stockman.
“I just won the Tancred! Can you believe it? Oh my goodness. What a fantastic mare. You hear jockeys speak of having confidence in a horse and I’m starting to really respect that with this mare because she seems to just reassure me for every step of the way,” an excited Parr told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“Her turn of foot at the backend of a mile-and-a-half is just incredible and she handled them quite easily.
“I was very aware that going into today to pay respect to a couple of those hard-headed geldings and the stallion obviously; not to give them too much of a start.
“We swung down there by the 1000m and the half-mile and moves started to happen – the race really lit up. She just assured me that we are ok – I could sit there and be patient, and when I let her go, she put pay to them really quickly, similar to what she did at Flemington.
“No doubt about it. She’s the most talented horse I’ve sat upon, she’s remarkable. You guys have seen her plenty of times now, she’s not gross in size but the power her stride has is incredible.”
Stockman was brave in second at big odds having also made up ground from the back coming wide approaching the turn, while third went to the New Zealand-trained The Chosen One who improved on an 11th in the race behind the ill-fated Sir Dragonet last year.
The best of the on-speed runners was Australian Cup runner-up Think It Over, shuffled back in a crucial stage on the straight before running fourth just ahead of the pace-maker Angel Of Truth in fifth.
Duais was last seen winning Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) by two lengths on Super Saturday.
Her outstanding effort returning to Sydney and going up to a mile and a half in the Tancred saw her become the first to do the interstate double since Preferment back in 2016.
“She is a very talented filly, there is no doubt about that. I must admit, getting to the 1000m mark I saw Josh (Parr) just starting to niggle her along, she had switched off a little too well,” Cummings said.
“Even as Stockman started moving up three and four wide, I was talking to Alex, my right-hand man, and he was like, ‘çome on Joshy, what are you doing mate, it’s time to get going’.
“She is a very special filly.”
Cummings is now opting on whether to step her up to two miles on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick on April 9 in the Group 1 $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) or drop her back on the same day for double the prize money in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“She’d have run a mile-and-a half in the Australian Cup and it would have been a gap job like you just saw. The world is her oyster at the moment,” Cummings said.
“What we do next is still up in the air, but on the ease of that win, you’d have to say she’s got at least one more (run) in her and then she can take her pick in the spring.
“It’s definitely a consideration (going up to 3200m for the Sydney Cup). I think on the strength of that win she will run it out, no dramas.”
“Easily (you could also drop her back to 2000m for the Queen Elizabeth).
“We haven’t changed much of her work, she is just a natural athlete, you can do whatever you like with her.”
Duais is the $4 favourite in all-in Sydney Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and pays $6 in futures markets on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.