2014 Cox Plate Raider Excelling After Quarantine

A veterinarian at Hong Kong raider Dan Excel’s new NSW base, Muskoka Park, has said the Cox Plate 2014 bound galloper has arrived safe and happy after completing a two week stint in quarantine.

John Moore

Hong Kong-based trainer John Moore has Dan Excel on track for the Cox Plate 2014. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The John Moore-trained Shamardal six-year-old has spent the past fortnight in compulsory quarantine at Eastern Creek after arriving in Australia from Hong Kong late last month.

They are now residing at their owner David Phillip Boehm’s 280 acre training property at Gunderman on New South Wale’s Central Coast where they have access to everything from a 2400m crusher dust track, a 2000m grass track, equine pool and custom treadmill.

A dual Group 1 champion, Dan Excel is looking to add to their elite level record down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival targeting the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.

The rising seven-year-old gelding was last seen securing their second Group 1 trophy with a strong one and three quarter length victory over Smoking Sun in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji on May 18.

For that run they were ridden by Sydney based hoop Tommy Berry also aboard for their previous run when third to Variety Club in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) at home at Sha Tin.

One of 10 international invitees from Racing Victoria to this year’s Cox Plate Carnival, Dan Excel will now commence their training in earnest for a shot at Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.

Muskoka Farm vet Wendy Lapointe was thrilled with the condition the horse arrived to them in, their job to get them fit before their move to Rosehill in Sydney.

“Dan Excel arrived safe and happy at Muskoka Farm from quarantine at Eastern Creek,” Lapointe told Racing Victoria.

“He’s been locked in quarantine for a month now so I’m sure he’ll be pleased to start work again and the farm will provide the ultimate environment for him to stretch his legs.

“The plan is for him to be in work for between two and three weeks here before being transferred to Gary Moore’s Rosehill stables.”

Moore is a brother of the horse’s expat Aussie trainer John and will take Dan Excel to Melbourne after their early Sydney work where they will target the major Cox Plate lead-ups.

Their likely first-up option is at Moonee Valley on September 6 in the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).

Current Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House as the $9 favourite, the Queen-owned import last seen running third to It’s A Dundee lint he Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in April.

Dan Excel meanwhile isn’t much further down the markets paying $17.

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