Jeff Lynds’ talented Kiwi galloper Wall Street kicked off their 2011 Cox Plate campaign in style, the rising seven-year-old winning a barrier trail at Otaki this week.
One of the top weight-for-age performers going around, Montjeu gelding Wall Street is being prepared to make the trip to Victoria for the 2011 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the prestigious $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 as the ultimate goal.
Wall Street has to date started 23 times for 11 wins and four minor placings, including three Group 1 victories at home and a fourth elite level victory in Australia, earning over $1.6 million in prize money.
Having shown good form when easily outclassing their rivals over 1000 metres in a heat on Tuesday, Lynds is confident his NZ Horse of the Year nominee can add more Group glory to their record in Australia this spring.
With top Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson aboard, Wall Street won by a half-length on a Heavy Otaki track, impressing both trainer and jockey.
“He jumped and lead all the way,” Lynds said.
“It was good and Opie was pleased with him.”
Lynds travelled down under with Wall Street last year for Sydney’s Autumn Carnival.
In their sole start Wall Street could only manage to finish five lengths away 11th behind the Chris Waller-trained Rangirangdoo in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
After returning to New Zealand, Wall Street hit a purple patch of form running a close second behind Keep The Peace in the Group 1 Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (1400m) at Hastings in August before posting back-to-back elite level wins in the 2010 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and 2010 Spring Classic (2040m).
His excellent form earned him a return trip to Oz, Wall Street lining up in the 2010 Cox Plate field as a 20-1 chance.
Facing one of the most exciting collection of weight-for-age stars, Wall Street eventually finished 10th in last year’s Cox Plate, beaten seven lengths by dual winner So You Think.
The trip to Melbourne was well worth Lynds’ time, however, as at their next start Wall Street claimed a gritty final-stride win in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Since their Emirates Stakes success, Wall Street has started four more times including two more Group 1 second places in New Zealand in the Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m) won by King Mufhasa and Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) taken out by Keep The Peace in February.
Bought over to Australia for their third campaign here last season, Wall Street failed to produce their same blistering form and finished a disappointing 13th to Rangirangdoo in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill and then second last in the Doncaster Mile on April 16 at Randwick.
Lynds has scheduled a similar spring programme for Wall Street this year as 12 months ago, the horse set to resume in the Group 1 Hawkes Bay Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 27 before defending their title in both the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 17 and the Spring Classic (2040m) on October 1 at home and then heading to Australia for the Cox Plate 2011.
The trio of Group 1 races in New Zealand at the start of the season are set to attract crack fields of Melbourne Spring Carnival hopefuls including New Zealand Derby – Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux, Shaune Ritchie’s four-year-old mare Keep The Peace, last year’s Victoria Derby winner Lion Tamer and impressive Queensland Oaks conqueror and early fancy for the 2011 Melbourne Cup Scarlett Lady.
Wall Street is currently paying $41 in the early Cox Plate odds, betting lead by So You Think ($7) and Whobegotyou ($9).
Cox Plate 2011 nominations will be released next Tuesday August 2, along with the early entries for the 2011 Caulfield Cup, 2011 Caulfield Guineas and 2011 Thousand Guineas.