Throat issues have ruled John Moore’s Hong Kong raider Dan Excel out of his scheduled Australian debut at Caulfield this weekend forcing connections to shelve Cox Plate 2014 plans with the Singapore Cup winner.
Dan Excel’s raid down under has gone anything but smoothly and now another setback will see the Shamardal gelding miss out on the race he was bought over to contest, the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Moore confirmed on Friday the seven-year-old would not be taking his spot in the $120,000 Listed APT Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Guineas Day this Saturday.
That was a rescheduled resuming run too after a virus ruled the galloper out of both the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last month and last Saturday’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
The Weekend Hussler Stakes was then ‘Plan C’ and Dan Excel faced a tough assignment despite the race only holding Listed status as he would have carried the hefty 63.5kg top weight.
Before today’s announcement Dan Excel was rated a $26 chance in futures Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Odds on Australasia’s weight-for-age championship are led by reigning Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner ($5.50), Chris Waller’s last start George Main Stakes champ Sacred Falls ($6) and the Peter Moody-trained Dissident ($8) who all face off in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Moore listed the reason for the horse’s official withdrawal from the Cox Plate acceptances with Racing Victoria on Friday afternoon as a throat abnormality, a left over from the throat infection Dan Excel was suffering from a couple of weeks ago.
With Dan Excel out there are now only 40 horses still heading towards a Cox Plate run in a fortnight, the final field due for release on the Tuesday before Cox Plate Day.
The best fancied of the internationals is the Aiden O’Brien-trained Adelaide at $10, the son of Galileo in quarantine off the back of a September 14 win in a Group 2 over the mile and a half at Longchamp in France.
To check out the full Cox Plate odds and get behind your early picks at their generous all-in prices visit Ladbrokes.com.au where this weekend by picking the winners of the last eight Caulfield Guineas Day races in Melbourne you can turn $3 into $3 million!