The UK’s Ed Dunlop has confirmed Cox Plate 2013 ambitions for his Hollywood Derby winner Unbridled Command after the top grey received one of 20 invitations to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship this spring in Melbourne sent by the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) this week.
A nicely-bred son of Master Command, the American-bred Unbridled Command kicked off their career in New York under Thomas Bush with their three-year-old season last year including a string of five straight victories including the Group 1 Hollywood Derby (2000m).
Australian connections Kevin and Colleen Bamford, best known for their association with 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, expressed interest in the colt soon after and secured a large share in Unbridled Command.
The horse’s first run after the purchase was an eye-catching third to Point Of Entry and subsequent Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom in the Group 1 Turf Handicap (1800m) in the USA in February after which they were sent to be trained by Dunlop in England.
The move to Dunlop’s Newmarket stables was in preparation for a trip down under for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival where their main aim will be the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, 2013, something their trainer is very excited about.
“Ever since Red Cadeaux’s near miss in the Melbourne Cup (when runner-up to Dunaden in 2011), I have been keen to try and get more horses to go down to Australia,” Dunlop told the Herald Sun.
“The Cox Plate is a race which really excites me and it will be our main aim at this stage.”
While wanting to return down under for himself, Dunlop also admitted the Cox Plate goal for Unbridled Command was one they had because of their Australian owners.
“He has been bought to try and win the Cox Plate,” he told Racing Victoria.
“It is not a race which fits particularly well into a normal European horse’s campaign as there are so many other options but he has been bought by an Australian owner, and two Americans have stayed in him.”
Opting not to run Unbridled Command in next week’s Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, Dunlop will save them for a Cox Plate lead-up later in the season in Europe before heading to Oz.
In the pre-nomination Cox Plate betting markets Unbridled Command is currently rated a $41 chance with Murray Baker’s Australian Derby winner It’s A Dundeel the $4.20 top fancy.
To get in on the early Cox Plate odds including those on Unbridled Command then head straight to bookmaker.com.au who will be your number one bookie for the spring offering the best range of fixed win odds and exclusive markets.