Ace Sydney trainer Chris Waller has confirmed his spring frontrunner My Kingdom Of Fife will next race in the $200,000 Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick on 2011 Epsom Handicap Day after the Group 1 winner had a pleasing trail at the track on Tuesday.
While work continues on the Queen Elizabeth II Grandstand to get the time-honoured structure safe in time for Epsom Super Saturday on October 1, Randwick was host to 14 hitouts yesterday with My Kingdom Of Fife racing in the first.
In a performance that showed Waller the former Queen-owned import was exactly where he needed to be, My Kingdom Of Fife worked well over 1200 metres to come within a nose of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pureness.
Yesterday also saw Waller pay the second declaration fee for My Kingdom Of Fife in both the 2011 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate 2011.
There are 79 horses still in contention for the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15, 80 second acceptors but a subsequent withdrawal of defending Melbourne Cup winner Americain from the entries, but it is the $3 million Group 1 weight-for-age Cox Plate over 2040m at Moonee Valley a fortnight later that is shaping up as the more suitable aim for My Kingdom Of Fife.
“It will be either one or the other,” Waller said.
2011 Cox Plate Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
“His run in the Craven Plate will decide which way we go.
“I’m leaning towards the Cox Plate but I’m not saying no to the Caulfield Cup.”
While many other Sydney-trained Caulfield Cup – Cox Plate hopefuls have already made the trip to Melbourne in begin their preparations, Waller has opted to keep My Kingdom Of Fife at home a little longer just to be sure there are no surprise fitness queries.
“I’ve decided to keep him in Sydney to keep a closer eye on him,” Waller said.
“He has had a few niggling problems in the past, nothing that has surfaced this time in, and I just think it is better for the horse to stay home and get to Melbourne late.
“Running the Melbourne way won’t be a problem.
“I checked through his European form and he has raced left-handed seven times before and handled it.”
In Tuesday’s Randwick trial My Kingdom Of Fife was ridden by Hugh Bowman, who believed the horse had come on since their gallant first-up second behind Trusting in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on September 3.
“He was keen to race and pulled himself outside the leader Pureness so I let him stride as he wouldn’t be able to sprint as good as the rest of them and he stuck on well,” Bowman reported.
“It was a solid trial and he felt as though he has come on since his first-up run.”
Bowman was aboard My Kingdom Of Fife for their opening spring run in the Chelmsford, but has turned down the ride on them for the Cox Plate should they go that way.
Instead, Bowman has committed himself to partner with spruik Kiwi galloper and last-start Underwood Stakes winner Lion Tamer, Murray Baker’s 2010 Victoria Derby hero the $11 third-favourite in the Cox Plate 2011 odds at Luxbet.
Waller will offer the Cox Plate mount to regular rider for Gai Waterhouse, Nash Rawiller, who ironically was aboard yesterday’s Randwick trial winner Pureness.
Rawiller has already been confirmed to ride My Kingdom Of Fife for their second-up run in the Craven Plate.
Currently My Kingdom Of Fife is paying a generous $21 in the Cox Plate markets at Luxbet while punters can get them at an even juicier price of $31 in the Caulfield Cup odds.
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