2014 Cox Plate Considered for Sweynesse

After securing his fourth win from as many starts and back-to-back Group victories, the undefeated John O’Shea-trained Seynesse is being considered for a Cox Plate 2014 bid in Melbourne next month.


Gloaming Stakes winner Sweynesse could progress onto the 2014 Cox Plate in Melbourne. Photo: Steve Hart.

The nicely bred Lonhro colt announced himself as a genuine contender for the $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 after winning the first at Rosehill on Saturday.

Backing up from a Group 3 Spring Stakes win over the Newcastle mile on September 17, the Godolphin-owned improver proved too good for his rivals once again when stepped up to the 1800m for today’s $200,000 Group 3 Gloaming Stakes.

In a tight two horse battle in the dying stables with $2.40 equal favourite Diamond Valores, Sweynesse and jockey Kerrin McEvoy drew away and hand a length to spare on the line in a fine effort that hinted at bigger and better things to come over the coming weeks.

O’Shea confirmed post-race that the 2014 Spring Champion Stakes in a fortnight was the next-up goal for Sweynesse.

The colt is also the hot favourite to take out the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) in Victoria on the opening day of Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 1.

But another even more ambitious Melbourne aim is being considered, with O’Shea happy to dream big.

He suggested after the Gloaming that the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley under weight-for-age conditions on October 25 might not be outside of Sweynesse’s reach.

“We dare to dream. The machinations of the Cox Plate look a bit different this year,” O’Shea told TVN.

“A three-year-old with his staying ability and his form lines traditionally have been effective, and it’ an option for us, obviously we’ve got to get him home and make sure he pulls up well.

“If he pulls up well he’ll go to the Spring Champion and we will go from there.

“We haven’t gotten to the bottom of him.”

The bookies just might agree too with the young gun’s price in futures Cox Plate betting slashed from around $61 into $21 following the Gloaming Stakes result with Sweynesse looking to emulate Shamus Award who won the Moonee Valley major as a three-year-old last year.

In the Spring Champion Stakes Sweynesse will be ridden by Blake Shinn with his Gloaming Stakes winning hoop McEvoy engaged to ride the Gerald Ryan-trained Rubick in the three-year-olds’ clash.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden meanwhile confirmed the Gloaming Stakes runner-up Diamond Valores would not progress onto the Spring Champion Stakes.

Instead the Tavistock gelding would be sent for an immediate spell with an eye on next year’s Queensland Derby during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

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