A mouthwatering rematch between star colts Pierro and All Too Hard has been set up with both camps accepting for the Group 1 2012 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
All Too Hard ended Pierro’s unbeaten reign in the Caulfield Guineas two weeks ago but despite speculation he would always head to the Cox Plate co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the decision was only finalised this morning.
“Everyone kept saying he was going to run in the Golden Slipper and he never did,” Hawkes said.
“Dad wanted to watch the horse work this morning.”
Hawkes didn’t receive an early pick but still managed to score an ideal barrier three position while Pierro also drew well with barrier seven.
Hawkes believes the three-year-old trio of All Too Hard, Pierro and Proisir,who carry just 49.5kg in the weight-for-age test, have a genuine advantage over the older horses this year.
“I just reckon the three-year-olds this year just might have the wood on them,” Hawkes said.
“They’re both superstars [All Too Hard and Pierro] but this race, if one of them could win, it would put them to another level.”
Fourteen horses in total will contest the prestigious $3 million event, with top fancy Green Moon set to come from barrier five as he attempts to back up his win in the Turnbull Stakes earlier this month.
Green Moon will be ridden by Craig Williams who is still on a high after winning the Caulfield Cup aboard Dunaden on Saturday.
Williams was originally set to ride Pierro but jumped off after he was defeated in the Caulfield Guineas and said he has no regrets about his decision.
“If I wanted to go to war with a horse, I’d go to war with Green Moon,” Williams said.
Gai Waterhouse received first pick with glamour mare More Joyous and interestingly chose barrier 11.
Waterhouse said the decision was to prevent the eight-time Group 1 winner getting squeezed out early in the race.
“I think there could be some squeeze gates and that will give her more room to move,” she said.
Other key draws include in-form New Zealand four-year-old Ocean Park (9), Gai Waterhouse’s third runner Proisir (13), 2011 Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed (13), Adelaide gelding Happy Trails (8) and last year’s third placegetter Rekindled Interest (1).
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Cox Plate 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||2x32132x17||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||59kg||116|
|2||97x454x153||SINCERO||Stephen Farley||Michael Rodd||12||59kg||114|
|3||2010x47x49||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||James McDonald||2||59kg||110|
|4||2120x1x521||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Craig Williams||5||59kg||112|
|5||33x625x030||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||Dwayne Dunn||1||59kg||111|
|6||3x760x1x40||LINTON||John Sadler||Steven Arnold||14||59kg||108|
|7||33446×1215||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Kerrin McEvoy||8||59kg||109|
|8||3321×76||ETHIOPIA||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||6||57.5kg||108|
|9||121282×111||OCEAN PARK (NZ)||Gary Hennessy||Glen Boss||9||57.5kg||114|
|10||7x1111x114||MORE JOYOUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||11||57kg||127|
|11||5255×31140||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Luke Nolen||13||57kg||115|
|12||x11111x112||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Corey Brown||7||49.5kg||114|
|13||1112×3541||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Chris Munce||3||49.5kg||111|
|14||1112||PROISIR||Gai Waterhouse||Craig Newitt||10||49.5kg||100|