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A devastatingly close win over race favourite Heart Of Dreams in the $200,000 Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) by King’s Rose at Caulfield on the weekend has seen Peter Moody’s hopes of a 2011 Cox Plate win skyrocket.
Making her Australian race debut on Saturday, Group 1 winning Kiwi mare King’s Rose stormed into contention for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 with a gritty final-stride win over Heart Of Dreams in the Memsie.
It was a thrilling blanket finish that saw the Greg Eurell-trained Red Colossus ($13) and Jim Conlan’s Rekindled Interest ($7.50) finish three-four both within a length of upset winner King’s Rose.
Moody currently has six from his stables nominated for the Cox Plate 2011, including reigning Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva who failed to impress when finishing 11th in the Memsie for their first-up run.
Although King’s Rose got the bikkies on Saturday, her Cox Plate odds at Luxbet remain generous at $26.
With Whobegotyou leading the Cox Plate betting at $7, Moody’s best chance in the weight-for-age feature is still seen to be Lights Of Heaven who sits as the equal $11 second elect along with dual defending champion, but unlikely acceptor, So You Think.
Other Memsie Stakes runners in Cox Plate contention this year include fourth placegetter Rekindled Interest and seventh placegetter Linton who are both rated $18 chances at Luxbet.
King’s Rose is also entered for the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15, for which she is paying $26 to win in markets again lead by her stablemate Lights Of Heaven ($7).
However, after Saturday’s success Moody hinted that her preferred distance would more likely lead to a Cox Plate bid this prep.
“Looking at her videos, I’m not convinced she is a mile-and-half (horse),” Moody explained.
“She failed to stay in the (New Zealand) Oaks, but that was at the end of a long campaign.”
King’s Rose ran three lengths away seventh in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks, run over the Caulfield Cup distance of 2400 metres, behind Midnight Oil on March 19 which was her last run before the Memsie.
“I’m not ruling anything out, but up to a mile and a quarter (2000 metres),” Moody added.
“I think she’s going to be very competitive in anything she runs in.
“I think she is a high quality mare.
“Her work has been very good and I’m very impressed with her.”
Moody also indicated that King’s Rose would next contest either the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 10 or the $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24.
“Her next start will be in either the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes or the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, we’ll just sit on the fence for the moment,” Moody said.
Meanwhile trainer of beaten favourite Heart Of Dreams, Mick Price indicated he would likely avoid a second clash with King’s Rose in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and run his dual Group 1 winner next up in the $350,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 17.
“I’d be leaning to an Underwood Stakes start for him here at the 1800 metres rather than the Dato Tan Chin Nam,” Price said.
“I think they’d be a bit nippy for him over the 1600 metres around the Valley.”
Heart Of Dreams is a $35 Cox Plate hope at Luxbet.
For full spring betting odds on all the Group Ones, head to Luxbet and open an account with the Tabcorp-owned and operated online bookmaker more Aussie punters love to use.
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