James & Bart Cummings’ dual Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner Precedence will line-up in the Cox Plate Day race for the fourth time shooting for a third win in the race in Melbourne this weekend.
Drawn in barrier four with Glen Boss to ride, the veteran Zabeel nine-year-old is one of 10 final acceptors making up the field for this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Racing.com Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
He first won the race in 2010, missed the 2011 edition, finished fourth to Vatuvei in 2012 and then won again 12 months ago with connections giving him a chance to defend his title on Saturday.
Precedence improved on a 12th at Flemington over 1400m two back when, last time out here at Moonee Valley on September 26, he ran under one and a half lengths away fifth behind Cox Plate hope The Cleaner in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m).
That was his 10th start at Moonee Valley, a track he’s now enjoyed five wins over, with Precedence having won two of his three starts over the track and distance.
He’s also the sole remaining chance for the ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings to win an incredible 13th Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November, Precedence having been balloted out of the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year.
He’s 25th on the latest Melbourne Cup ballot for 2014 however so is all but guaranteed a start in the 24-starter field, Cummings’ co-trainer and grandson James confirming that the horse was in better form ahead of Saturday than 12 months ago.
“(He’s) probably a half length better than he was this time last year,” Cummings told The Daily Telegraph.
“He loves the Valley and this is a good stepping stone into the Melbourne Cup.
“We are pretty enthusiastic about his chances.”
Also coming via the JRA Cup is the Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin who ran a nice fourth before his last start seventh in the Cranbourne Cup over the same distance on October 12.
The Cranbourne Cup was also the final lead-up run into Saturday for the Tony McEvoy-trained third placegetter Le Roi who has won his only other Moonee Valley start back in March defeating Stipulate over the mile and Michael Kent’s Hobart Cup – Launceston Cup double winning mare Epingle (4th).
Before the Cranbourne Cup Pins seven-year-old Epingle ran at Moonee Valley for the third time and finished fourth behind Dear Demi in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m), Saturday her first look at the 2500m.
A host of other Moonee Valley Gold Cup acceptors also come off nice lead-up form including Group 3 The Bart Cummings third placegetter Anudjawun now in his nine-year-old season and the Chris Waller-trained Opinion.
Oasis Dream gelding Opinion caught the eye in the autumn when runner-up behind one time Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and was second past the post in another Sydney staying feature last time out when runner-up to stable mate Junoob in The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 4.
Adding even more interest to this weekend’s Cup clash is the inclusion of Andre Fabre’s French raider Au Revoir who hasn’t raced since a fourth in the Group 2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp in mid-September.
See below for the full Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
Then visit our No. 1 recommended betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au for all the weekend’s hottest odds including those on the Cox Plate!
2014 Moonee Valley Gold Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 5 (3:35pm) – 25/11/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||116x327x05||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||Glen Boss||4||57kg||106|
|2||741472×000||BLACK TYCOON||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||8||57kg||100|
|3||27259×5647||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||7||56.5kg||103|
|4||5514x426x4||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Andre Fabre||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg||104|
|5||38x3196x53||LE ROI (GER)||Tony McEvoy||Tommy Berry||1||56kg||99|
|6||12142×8782||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||10||56kg||95|
|7||12262×0502||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||9||55kg||104|
|8||D421x20843||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Michael Rodd||2||55kg||76|
|9||2631135×44||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||–||3||54.5kg||103|
|10||2x726x1346||ALBONETTI||Sue Jaensch||Chad Schofield||5||53kg||85|