Coolmore’s James Bester has said that Irish raider Adelaide’s wide 2014 Cox Plate barrier 13 at this morning’s draw was a better result than an inside alley for the horse’s Australian debut.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo four-year-old was one of a capacity 14 gallopers announced as part of the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) field for Moonee Valley on Saturday, and one of three international hopes in the classic.
The last horse to be allocated a Cox Plate barrier, the ultra-consistent Adelaide came up with the second widest alley, but Bester said that it would suit the horse better than an inside draw would have.
“We were the only ones that didn’t get to choose a barrier,” he told Racing Ahead.
“When you are last out you don’t get to choose, but at the end of the day I would rather draw 12 than one, two or three for a horse like this.
“He would not want to be cluttered up on the fence or shuffled back.
“We’ll take it and make the best of it.”
Helping the horse make the best of the barrier will be jockey Ryan Moore, staying on after riding the stallion for his past two starts overseas.
Two back the pair combined to win the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes (2011m) in the USA before they finished third to Ectot last time out in the Group 2 Prix Niel (2400m) at Longchamp Racecourse in France on September 14.
Saturday’s barrier is the widest Adelaide has ever jumped from but connections are still confident he can be competitive in his first run down under especially after his “fabulous” work at Werribee on Tuesday morning.
In his last piece of serious work the horse ran over 1200m impressing Bester and boosting the team’s hopes for a win in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship on the weekend.
“He built steadily, he’s a very clean winded horse. You could not hear him coming past,” Bester said.
“The rider was delighted, he expressed that he could not be happier. Everyone is happy and so, too, the horse. He has taken everything in his stride.
“There will be no excuses on the score of preparation or settling in.”
A winner of three of his seven career starts to date, Adelaide is yet to finish out of the money having also recorded four minor placings since his debut in Ireland in October last year.
Following the release of the Cox Plate field and barriers, Ladbrokes.com.au updated their markets with Adelaide now one of four single figure hopes to win.
The Cox Plate odds are led by the Robert Hickmott-trained Fawkner ($4) who comes off a win in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), drew ideally in gate four and who heads towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 4.
Adelaide meanwhile occupies the second line of Cox Plate betting at an equal $6.50 quote along with the Chris Waller-trained Caulfield Stakes fourth placegetter Sacred Falls.
The other single figure hope is then the David Payne-trained Sebring four-year-old Criterion ($8.50) in barrier six with Hugh Bowman staying on after the duo ran second in the Caulfield Stakes last time out.
The other two international Cox Plate horses then are Caulfield Stakes third past the post Side Glance ($26) and the ATB-owned Guest Of Honour who is the $67 roughie following the Marco Botti-trained Cape Cross six-year-old’s disappointing ninth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) last start.
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