Mobaco Still 2013 Cox Plate Bound Despite Ascot Failure

They may have been disappointing in their latest assignment at Royal Ascot but European horseman Luca Cumani still plans to bring Mobaco down under as part of his Melbourne Cup 2013 contingent in the spring.

The four-year-old son of Slickly failed to perform on June 21 when finishing a well beaten ninth behind Forgotten Voice in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2011m).

It was the horse’s second run for the Newmarket-based Cumani having previously been prepared in France by Frederic Rossi for former owner-breeder Jean-Claude Seroul.

The first was at Goodwood on May 25 where they hit the lead early before tiring to finish last in the field of five beaten five lengths by Rewarded in the Listed Festival Stakes, an effort Cumani was willing to forgive and forget.

“We had nowhere else to start him off … he has settled in well, but we are on a fact-finding mission with him,” Cumani told the Racing Post at the time.

Their earlier form with Rossi meanwhile was very good with six wins from 14 starts most recently an all-the-way effort Group 3 Grand Prix Des Provinces (2000m) at Marseilles Borely in October last year.

Cumani has had a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign earmarked for Mobaco since taking over their preparation for their new Australian connections, the Melbourne-based OTI Racing co-owned by Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell, who bought the colt after their Group 3 win.

And while there’s still a lot of work to do getting the horse up to par the plan is still to target them for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.

“Mobaco has settled in well and we are happy with him,” Cumani said back in May.

There’s also a chance they could develop into a staying type with one eye on the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.

Cumani and OTI have come close to winning the world’s richest handicap a number of times over the years.

Their most notable Melbourne Cup result was back in 2008 when the great grey Bauer came within a nose of the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed.

While Cumani is yet to bag himself a ‘Loving Trophy’ Henderson has two in the cabinet having been a part-owner of the 1995 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups winner Doriemus who was prepared by Lee Freedman.

This year they will try to get Mobaco up to scratch for a spring assault by winning a Group 2 race in Europe to lift their rating.

“He’s coming over here anyway with our Cups horses and we’re not entirely certain which races he’ll be aimed at, but if he wins a Group 2 race over there this year then we’ll start thinking about the Cox Plate,” Henderson said.

Mobaco is yet to be added into the early markets for the weight-for-age Cox Plate.

They are however rated a $41 chance in the latest futures Melbourne Cup odds.

This is equal with the likes of Chris Waller’s Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up, their Group 1 performing stablemate Kelinni, the Dermot Weld-trained Galileo’s Choice who was 20th in the ‘race that stops a nation’ behind Green Moon last year and progressive Zabeel filly Zydeco last seen running second to Dear Demi in the Crown Oaks last Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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