Hastings-based New Zealand trainer John Bary is so confident that the Cox Plate 2011 is the ideal race for his gun four-year-old Jimmy Choux that he chose not to nominate the triple Group 1 winner for any of the other Melbourne Spring Carnival majors.
Yesterday Racing Victoria took entries for the 2011 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, with Jimmy Choux only nominated by connections for the later.
The ultra consistent son of Thorn Park will be sent down under with the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 the prize aim.
Early favourite to take out the NZ Horse of the Year honours thanks to their winning efforts in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas and Group 1 New Zealand Derby last season, Jimmy Choux is also a Group 1 champion in Australia.
Bary bought them over during the autumn, the then three-year-old Jimmy Choux claiming a half-length victory over Retrieve in the Rosehill Guineas (200m) back in March.
Backed up just a fortnight later, Jimmy Choux failed at their next start finishing 12 lengths away sixth behind the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamrocker in the Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m).
“He just came to the end of the long season and it was a harder track,” Bary said in regards to Jimmy Choux’s below-par effort in the AJC Derby.
“But I also think they found him out over 2400 metres.
“We know he’s not a stayer – he’s a sprinter / miler – and they got him.”
Despite having won the NZ Guineas over 2400 metres, Bary believes Jimmy Choux is a genuine middle distance galloper and will keep him to races around the Cox Plate distance of 2040 metres.
This means Jimmy Choux will also be a no-show in the list of 2011 Melbourne Cup nominations next month.
Having returned to work at home in good order, Jimmy Choux is set to run in a couple of early spring features in New Zealand before returning to Oz.
“He had two months in the paddock and has really developed,” Bary said.
“I measured him yesterday and he’s now 16’2 (hands) and he’s really strengthened up.”
Following a hit-out at his home track, Jimmy Choux will have his first season trial at Otaki in a fortnight.
Bary has pencilled in the Group 1 Mudgway Stakes (1400m) at Hastings for the horse’s resuming run where Jimmy Choux will face fellow Melbourne Spring Carnival-bound gallopers including Wall Street, Keep The Peace and Queensland Oaks winner Scarlett Lady.
As well as the Cox Plate, Jimmy Choux may also remain in Australia for the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes over the mile at Flemington on Saturday November 5, while Bary was also contemplating an international campaign targeting the Group 1 Champions Mile in Hong Kong in December.
Cox Plate betting is currently lead by the now Irish-trained So You Think ($7) who would be looking for a record-equalling third Cox Plate victory this year.
Jimmy Choux is not far behind in the Cox Plate odds, the Kiwi sensation at a quote of $15 to win the weight-for-age race.