Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Triple Group 1 winning jockey Glen Boss may be missing out on a ride in today’s Cox Plate 2013 due to suspension, but the grey horse he was supposed to ride Puissance De Lune is still his hot tip of the day at Moonee Valley.
Boss has partnered with Darren Weir’s smart Shamardal stallion for all seven of their starts since an eight length romp in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) last October.
He’s been singing the now six-year-old praises over the past 12 months too including his prediction they would win the 2013 Melbourne Cup after their five length victory in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington last Emirates Stakes Day.
Having won two more races together, the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) in a dead heat with Budriguez in March and then the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up this August, the Boss-Puissance partnership won’t be seen on Cox Plate Day.
Instead the suspended Boss will be replaced aboard the galloper, last seen running a very brave second in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) to fellow Cox hope Happy Trails on October 5, by Ben Melham.
“I wish I was riding him today but listen, I haven’t lost a leg or anything,” Boss told the Herald Sun.
“The suspension is not a big deal, it’s the swings and roundabouts in racing.
“If this is the worst thing that happens to me, then I’ve got nothing to complain about.”
The horse will jump from gate seven after the Atlantic Jewel scratching and currently pays $5.50 in the standard fixed win Cox Plate odds, or $11 in Ladbrokes.com.au’s double the odds markets.
That’s an easing price and one worth jumping on according to Boss too who only rates five genuine chances in the 14-horse Cox Plate 2013 field: Puissance De Lune, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Turnbull fourth placed Fiorente, race favourite It’s A Dundeel, Turnbull champ Happy Trails and $21 outsider Super Cool for Mark Kavanagh.
“I’ll be cheering for the big grey horse and for Ben,” Boss said last night.
“If Puissance De Lune wins, I’ll be so happy for ‘Weiry’ (Darren Weir) and the owners.
“He was very good first-up winning the Lawrence Stakes, then in the Makybe Diva (Stakes) a bit of pilot error got him beaten (when runner-up to Foreteller).
“I probably exposed him a little early, he should have won.
“In the Underwood Stakes, forget it (the seventh to It’s A Dundeel).
“He had a bad draw, got back in a slowly run race and ran seventh but it was a super run.
“The Turnbull Stakes was different again. He presented to win but the track was hurting him. He went to win by two lengths but just didn’t stretch out over the final 100m or so.
“So, for mine, he has had a really good ‘prep’, he goes to Moonee Valley where the track is going to suit him, and he should be a short-priced favourite.
“I’m pretty confident he can win, the horse is ready to explode today.”
And if any hoop can predict today’s Cox Plate result Boss is it having dominated the race over the past decade with three wins: Makybe Diva (2005) who he also won three Melbourne Cups with, So You Think (2009) for their first as a three-year-old and Kiwi raider Ocean Park (2012) last year.
“Happy Trails can win because his is so good and he is going better now than last year,” Boss explained.
“Fiorente can certainly win, he’s a very good horse, and obviously the favourite It’s A Dundeel, and the ‘big sleeper’ in the race is Super Cool.
“I rode him last start in the Caulfield Stakes and he was going to run two lengths second to Atlantic Jewel but he felt the firm track.
“The softer ground at the Valley will really help – Super Cool is way over the odds for mine.”
And as for the rest of the pack? Forgot them says Boss.
“Green Moon, Seville and Masked Marvel are on the Melbourne Cup trail, I can’t have Foreteller or Rekindled Interest, and the internationals, Side Glance and Mull Of Killough will struggle,” he said.
“I can’t see the three-year-olds winning, not when two superstars like All Too Hard and Pierro couldn’t win the race last year.
“Maybe I’ve got it wrong but I think the only winning chances are Puissance De Lune, Fiorente, It’s A Dundeel, Happy Trails and Super Cool.”
Boss said that Puissance De Lune was only just now hitting top stride for the spring and they’ll be at peak fitness for this and then their shot at the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
“I rode the horse in his gallop at Moonee Valley last Thursday and for the first time this preparation, when I looked at him he was 100 per cent fit,” Boss said.
“His next two runs – the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup – will be his best.”
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