Gai Waterhouse’s up-and-coming colt Ashokan has been named as a chance for the 2013 Cox Plate during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, their trainer to use Saturday’s Scone Guineas as an indication of their ability.
The More Than Ready three-year-old has won just one of their 14 career starts to date when taking out the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m) two runs into their career last March when prepared by John O’Shea.
Third to Epaulette in that year’s Golden Rose Ashokan’s disappointing next few months saw them transferred from O’Shea to Waterhouse in early April this year.
Their first run for their new trainer was a fifth to Ichihara in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on a Slow (7) track.
They showed nice improvement next start however when getting firmer ground and more distance to finish a close third behind Limes when beaten only a quarter length in the Listed Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
Also the runner-up in the Canberra Guineas back in March, Ashokan’s next target is Saturday’s lucrative $500,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) during the Scone Cup Carnival which attracted a full field of three-year-olds.
Current Scone Inglis Guineas betting is led by the undefeated Missy Cummings ($3.40) vying for her fourth consecutive career success.
Ashokan meanwhile is one of the other single figure chances at a quote of $8, drawn in gate six with Nash Rawiller to ride and Waterhouse is certain they can run a very nice race.
“The horses that beat him at Hawkesbury are no longer in it,” she said.
“He’s a lovely colt that has finally got into his rhythm and he should run very well and will be very hard to beat.”
If all goes to plan and the horse rises through the ranks as Waterhouse takes them up in distance heading into the spring then she will target the horse for the $3.5 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October – a race she ran third in last year with the now retired superstar Pierro.
“(He’s) looking for the mile at this stage of his career,” she said.
“He’s still learning and I think he’s a horse that with another break under his belt could come back as a Cox Plate horse.”
Early Cox Plate betting markets are already open at bookies around the country with It’s A Dundeel leading the odds at $4.20.
Ashokan meanwhile is yet to be added into the markets but could get a mention if they win the Scone Guineas this weekend.
For the best betting markets on the Scone races, the Brisbane Winter Carnival majors and the future Group 1 spring showdowns including the Cox Plate 2013 then visit bookmaker.com.au today and open your account with the country’s premier sportsbook.