Duais joins Yulong ahead of Champions tilt

Three-time Group 1 winner to race in Yulong colours on Saturday

DUAIS winning the Tab Australian Cup
DUAIS winning the Tab Australian Cup Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Montefilia will not be the only recent addition to the Yulong team racing in green and white colours in Saturday's Champions Stakes with Duais to have her first start since joining the ever-growing racing and breeding giant in the $3 million Group 1.

A deal was completed this week to see the daughter of Shamus Award change hands, with Edward Cummings to retain control of the Queensland Oaks, Australian Cup and Tancred Stakes winner who was a luckless fourth in the $5 million Cox Plate on October 28.

"It was a fantastic run from her in the Cox Plate and she's just another nice mare to join the team," Yulong chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said.

"She was purchased with the idea of give her a start and see how she progresses.

"We'll see how she runs on Saturday then we can decide whether we head to the autumn or to the breeding barn."

Duais is one of a swag of Group 1 performers who have been purchased by Yulong in the past 18 months with Forbidden Love ($4.1m), Montefilia ($3.4m), Snapdancer ($3.2m), Icebath ($2.3m) and Isotope ($2.3m) among those they have paid more than $2 million for this year alone.

Away Game ($4m) and Tofane ($3.1m) headed Yulong's collection in 2022.

Montefilia was purchased as the Inglis Chairman's Sale in May and has had four starts for Yulong, including victory in the $2 million Group 2 Hill Stakes (1900m) two starts ago.

The six-year-old has since finished 13th in the Caulfield Cup and Fairgray said even though Caulfield Cup and Turnbull Stakes runner-up West Wind Blows, Kiwi star Prowess and two-time defending back-to-back champion Zaaki are among her rivals, the Champions Stakes better fits the Chris Waller-trained mare.

"The 2000 metres is probably going to be more suitable than the Caulfield Cup, I think that's Chris's thinking," Fairgray said.

"She was quite impressive when she won in Sydney before coming own to Melbourne, so hopefully she can get some of that form back and run well on Saturday."

Montefilia has the services of Michael Dee and will jump from barrier one, while Duais will start from gate three and will be the final Melbourne Cup Carnival Group 1 ride for retiring great Damien Oliver.