Trainer Peter Snowden believes that he would have been robbing Long John of an opportunity if he did not run him in the 2013 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
Snowden had said in the lead-up to the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) that he was unsure whether he would press Long John on to the Cox Plate but after the Street Cry gelding’s strong performance in the Group 1 event earlier this month believes that he is more than worthy of a place in the 2013 Cox Plate field.
“He’s come on well so there was no hesitation in my mind to give him his chance,” Snowden told AAP.
“He’s been very strong late and I feel if I didn’t give the horse the opportunity I would be robbing him of that possibility.”
Long John has shown a great deal of tactical versatility throughout his three-year-old preparation and Snowden said he is hoping that the tough gelding would be towards the front of the field and putting the pressure on with his light-weight in the 2013 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
“These are real proven 2000-metre horses and they’ll be very strong late so we need to take advantage of our weight situation and put him in the first three or four at least and give himself a chance when they do start to quicken up,” Snowden said.
“He’s shown before he can keep finding something when he’s challenged.”
Long John will be only Snowden’s second ever runner in the Cox Plate after classy colt Helmet finished eighth behind Pinker Pinker as favourite in the 2011 edition of the race.
Snowden has said consistently that Long John and Helmet could not be any more different and admits that he feels less pressure going into the race this year.
“For me there was a lot of pressure on Helmet as he was expected to win and it didn’t come off,” Snowden said.
“It’s an even race this time.
“I’m going in with an open mind and just knowing the horse is well and racing well.”
Long John will be the first horse to complete the Caulfield Guineas/Cox Plate double since Red Anchor in 1984 if he is successful at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
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