Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
With Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet shooting to the top of Saturday week’s Cox Plate 2011 markets, former favourite Jimmy Choux has become a great value Cox Plate contender for spring carnival punters.
Last week John Bary’s in-form Thorn Park four-year-old Jimmy Choux was sitting as the pre-post favourite for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) through Luxbet following their impressive start to the season.
The talented Kiwi galloper resumed with a first-up second to last Saturday’s Toorak Handicap winner King Mufhasa in the Group 1 Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on August 27 before winning back-to-back elite levels at the same track.
Jimmy Choux turned the tables on King Mufhasa to win the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 17 and was last seen taking out the Group 1 Spring Classic over the Cox Plate distance of 2040m on October 1.
Despite their form over the distance and brilliant preparation, Jimmy Choux was displaced from their position at the top of the Cox Plate odds at Luxbet by gun three-year-old Helmet.
They now occupy the second line of Cox Plate betting at Luxbet, Jimmy Choux paying $4.40.
While Saturday’s upset Group 1 Toorak Handicap conqueror King Mufhasa is not currently nominated for the Cox Plate, Jimmy Choux’s trainer Bary believes the connections would be tempted to pay the hefty $130,000 final late entry fee next Monday to get the seven-year-old into the feature.
“He’s not in the Cox Plate but I have a feeling the owners might want to,” Bary, who is close friends with King Mufhasa’s trainer Stephen McKee, said.
“It (the Cox Plate) wouldn’t be my first choice, but he’s a seven-year-old gelding, so if the owner wants to go, that’s up to him.”
While Bary was giving praise to King Mufhasa’s win on Saturday, McKee was quick to return the admiration and named Jimmy Choux as the horse to beat in the Cox Plate 2011 but said the race wasn’t a viable option for King Mufhasa.
“You’ll see a different horse to the one who raced in Sydney as a three-year-old last season, he’s really strengthened up,” McKee said of Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux.
“He really is the horse in NZ.
“He’s doing everything with ease and he’s an ideal horse for a Cox Plate because he’s push-button.
“He is clearly the horse to beat in the race for mine.”
If anyone could recognise a Cox Plate winner McKee would be them, having co-trained the mighty Sunline with his father for their dual Cox Plate wins in 1999 and 2000.
“You give Helmet a lot of credit for his Guineas win,” McKee continued.
“He went a second faster than my horses (King Mufhasa) winning the Toorak.
“But the Cox Plate will be Helmet’s first try at 2040 metres, while Jimmy Choux is tough and already a Derby winner.”
Helmet and Jimmy Choux are the only 2011 Cox Plate entries currently at single-figures.
Following in the markets are Lion Tamer ($10) who was disappointing when eighth in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on the weekend, Jim Conlan’s Rekindled Interest ($13) and Glass Harmonium ($14) who will bypass the Caulfield Cup this Saturday in favour of a Cox Plate start.
On the next line is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Descarado, last year’s Caulfield Cup winner storming into Cox Plate calculations with their upset victory in the Caulfield Stakes on Saturday.
While attention this week is focused on the fillies in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Wednesday and then Saturday’s highly-anticipated $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m), savvy punters will be placing their ante-post Cox Plate bets at Luxbet also.
If a $500 bonus welcome bet isn’t enough, Luxbet also have an exclusive 2nd Place Bonus Refund Bet offer, refunding punters up to $250 as a bonus bet if their horse runs second in a Group 1 race this spring carnival!
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