A Cox Plate 2013 campaign for one of this year’s 20 international invitees has officially been shelved with Hong Kong’s Anthony Cruz confirming his Group 1 winning grey California Memory would be kept at home this year.
Despite the lure of all travel expenses being on the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC), former star jockey turned top trainer Cruz will not risk travelling his veteran Highest Honor seven-year-old California Memory to Melbourne for a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 26.
California Memory was last seen winning the Group 1 Champions & Charter Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin in May where they defeated their 2014 Melbourne Cup-bound stablemate Willie Cazals.
That was the champ’s fourth Group 1 success too having won three other elite levels including the Hong Kong Cup last December.
While their form and ability at weight-for-age isn’t being denied by their trainer, Cruz does know that the horse isn’t a sound traveler which has ruled out a 2013 Cox Plate bid.
“California Memory will stick to the Hong Kong races as he is not a sound horse,” Cruz said speaking of ongoing foot issues suffered by the horse.
“Last year we tried running him in Singapore and Dubai but the horse pulled up sore so it is too risky to travel with him.”
The shortest-priced of the internationals in the current pre-nomination Cox Plate betting markets meanwhile is the John Moore-trained Hong Kong hero Military Attack occupying the third line at a quote of $9.
The Oratorio five-year-old has been in flying form winning their past four races on the trot, three of which have been in Group 1 company including their sensational three and a half length Singapore Cup victory at Karnji in May.
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