Odds on the Jim Conlan-trained Rekindled Interest to win the Cox Plate 2011 this Saturday have firmed after the galloper rekindled their successful association with the Moonee Valley track, beating crack Kiwi galloper Jimmy Choux in a hit-out at the course proper this morning.
A number of the major contenders for the $3 million Cox Plate (2040m), for which the final field and barriers were released this morning, strutted their stuff in trackwork as part of the Moonee Valley’s Breakfast with the Stars.
The eye-catching run of the morning was by Cranbourne based four-year-old Rekindled Interest who outshone John Bary’s multiple elite level winning New Zealander Jimmy Choux.
Thorn Par four-year-old Jimmy Choux, who has won back-to-back Group 1 races in New Zealand this season, is the narrow $3.60 second elect in the Cox Plate odds at Luxbet behind gun three-year-old and 49.5kg lightweight of the field Helmet ($3.50).
However, this morning they were no match for Rekindled Interest who has since firmed in from $12 to $11 in the Cox Plate betting at Luxbet.
Rekindled Interest is proving a specialist at the Moonee Valley track having won two of their three starts at the notoriosuly tight course including the Group 2 AAMI Vase over the Cox Plate distance of 2040m last spring, and more recently the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes over the mile on September 10.
“He loves this track, he seems to get up on the bend and come off it really sharply,” Conlan said.
Last start the son of Redoute’s Choice was seen finishing four and a half lengths away fifth behind December Draw in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), beaten that run also be fellow Cox Plate rivals Glass Harmonium and Playing God.
With blinkers added to their gear for the Cox Plate on Saturday, connections are tipping big improvement from Rekindled Interest who also advantageous from an ideal Cox Plate barrier three draw.
Conlan was all praise for Rekindled Interest and believes having had the hit-out now, they are on song for the Cox Plate.
“He’s carrying about five kilos more than when he won the Dato and this will tighten him up and get him down to the same weight,” Conlan said.
“He’s had a really trouble-free preparation from day one and seems to be coming to his peak at the right time.
“If we can get him to the races on Saturday the way he is today he is an enormous chance.”
Meanwhile, Hastings-based horseman Bary said he was unconcerned that Jimmy Choux was beaten this morning and was heading towards Saturday with confidence.
“It’s only Tuesday, I’m not worried…we’re really confident,” he said.
“The Cox Plate is run on Saturday and not Tuesday morning.”
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