Stablemate of the legendary So You Think, the fellow Aidan O’Brien-trained Cape Blanco has stormed into 2011 Cox Plate contention with a resounding win in the Grade 1 Arlington Million in Chicago on the weekend.
Galileo four-year-old Cape Blanco was nominated for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) – to run at Moonee Valley on October 22 – along with his superstar stablemate and dual defending Cox Plate champion So You Think by Ireland’s premier trainer O’Brien last month.
“We know he gets a mile and a half on grass well,” O’Brien said.
Originally sitting well-down the future Cox Plate odds, Cape Blanco has firmed into a $21 shot for the weight-for-age feature at Luxbet, which is the best price of any bookmaker you will find.
In the Arlington Million Stakes, Cape Blanco easily accounted for their classy rivals, posting a two and a half length victory over dual US Champion turf winner Gio Ponti.
Cox Plate betting is now lead by last year’s third placegetter, Whobegotyou at $7 after Mark Kavanagh’s consistent WFA performer won first-up in the PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
So You Think occupies the second line of betting at $10, which is the equal Cox Plate price for Peter Moody’s classy mare Lights Of Heaven.
Cape Blanco is no stranger to elite level racing having now started in 10 Group or Grade 1 events over their career which has spanned multiple continents.
They have also saluted in their fair share of top level showdowns boasting wins in the 2010 Irish Derby, the 2010 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakees at Royal Ascot, the 2010 Irish Champion Stakes and the Man O’War Stakes at Belmont Park which they won in their US debut on way to their Arlington Million success.
The jockey aboard Cape Blanco for their five most recent runs, Jamie Spencer, was full of praise.
“He’s a good tough horse and he’s brilliant trained,” he said.
“All I did was do the steering; Aidan gave me my instructions and I rode accordingly
“I’m very pleased just to be able to ride the horse.
“There are very few horses that have the will to win like he has.
“The more you ask from him, the more you get from him. He had loads left at the end.”
If not the Cox Plate, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in November is another enticing option for Cape Blanco.
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