Character into Derby as Cummings Duais Conundrum Builds
Victory in Monday’s Group 2 Tulloch Stakes has seen Godolphin galloper Character firm into $11 for Saturday’s Australian Derby [2400m] at Randwick.
The son of Teofilo struck a blow first-up at Kembla in a Benchmark 68 before being placed at Group 2 level last start behind Mr Mozart in the Phar Lap Stakes leading into Monday’s rescheduled feature at Newcastle.
Tulloch Lodge three-year-old Zoumon set a fast tempo with Character in fourth position before Tommy Berry gave him his head and the pair kicked clear with Character [$4.60] staving off a late challenge from Kiwi raider Regal Lion ($21) with Chris Waller’s Sword Point [$4] grabbing third.
Berry alluded to the run benefiting Character suggesting his racing manners will suit the quick back-up into Saturday’s Derby.
“The way he raced [keen], if he did that over 2400m it would probably find him out,” Berry said.
“But that will take the edge off him.”
Now on the fifth line of betting for the Derby, Character will face star Victorian Hitotsu, who goes straight to the 2400m off the back of an Australian Guineas win over the mile.
Meanwhile, Duais made it back to back Group 1 victories with another last to first performance to win the Tancred Stakes [2400m].
Parking out the back of the nine-horse field, Josh Parr brough the four-year-old mare to the outside before cruising past her rivals in a similar manner to her Australian cup victory suggesting she is up there with a top weight-for-age horses.
Trainer Ed Cummings was asked whether Duais could run in the Sydney Cup over the gruelling 3200m.
“I suppose it warrants consideration given how strong she was through the line,” he said before indicating the 2000m of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes may be the main target.
“I think that would suit perfectly [back to 2000m].”