Champion jockey Damien Oliver has made a career of being the right man in the right moment more often than most.
And trainer Ed Cummings hopes the retiring great can do so at least one more time when he boards Duais in Saturday’s $5million Cox Plate.
Oliver is out to add to his successes with Dane Ripper (1997) and Northerly (2001) in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship at The Valley.
‘Ollie doesn’t need any introduction from me – everyone in the room knows what he’s capable of,’ Cummings said.
Veteran jockey Damian Oliver is a dual winner of the Cox Plate and will be looking to make it three on Saturday
Oliver riding Duais during gallops at Moonee Valley Racecourse ahead of the big race on Saturday
‘I think he’s riding in fine form. You saw that last weekend from limited opportunities (at Caulfield).
‘The race is always about trying to find the man or horse at the moment.
‘If there’s one man at the moment in Australian racing right now, we all know it’s Damien Oliver.’
Cummings noted there are ‘a few synergies’ around his bid for a first Cox Plate victory with Oliver.
The trainer’s brother James prepared last year’s winner Anamoe, while his legendary grandfather Bart won Australia’s best race five times.
Among Bart’s triumphs was a famous partnership with Oliver, who rode Dane Ripper to victory as a $40 outsider.
Oliver and Cummings created history in 1997 with underdog Dane Ripper who was a $40 outsider
Duais ($26) has similar underdog status despite having a profile to fit the 2040m race.
A three-time Group 1 winner, the mare won last year’s Australian Cup (2000m) over a similar distance at Flemington.
Duais’s sire Shamus Award won the Cox Plate a decade ago.
‘It’d be wonderful (to win the Cox Plate),’ Ed Cummings said.
‘It’d be lovely to see it up on the mantle piece and hopefully have something to rib the old man about.’