This Cox Plate Day Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller saddles-up the easing favourite for the Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2014 Opinion who he believes is ideally suited to the set weights plus penalties race.
There are 10 stayers in the mix for this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) with Waller’s Oasis Dream six-year-old Opinion heading the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.30 (out from $3).
Drawn in gate nine the gelding will be ridden by last weekend’s Caulfield Cup winning hoop Zac Purton who takes over from Tye Angland last start when Opinion finished runner-up to stable mate Junoob in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney.
Opinion was also runner-up to The Offer in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick back in April and eyes a start in the country’s most famous two-mile event on November 4, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
In Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes Opinion is rated a $41 outsider, but Waller is hoping he can shorten in the markets with and win at Moonee Valley this weekend.
Waller’s The Metropolitan winner Junoob franked the form of that race last weekend when running a brave seventh beaten only 2.25 lengths by Japanese raider Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
He is confident then that the form will stack up again in Melbourne on Saturday with Opinion luckless to not have won The Metropolitan after getting held up in a crucial stage approaching the home turn.
He also carried 56kg from a wide barrier (14 of 16) in his Sydney lead-up and should appreciate the better barrier with a kilo less on the weekend.
“It’s a perfect race for him at set weights and penalties,” Waller told Racenet.
Opinion was one of a host of Cox Plate Day runners galloping at Moonee Valley’s Breakfast with the Best on Tuesday and worked home strongly behind one of Waller’s three 2014 Cox Plate hopes Royal Descent in an eye-catching effort.
“It wasn’t planned to be like that, that’s just how it worked out but it was perfect for him because it gave him a bunny to chase,” Waller said.
“It was very nice to see him finish off well and he’ll be very hard to beat on Saturday.”
Royal Descent meanwhile joins Group 1 winning stable mates Sacred Falls and Foreteller for Waller in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday.
Recent George Main Stakes winner Sacred Falls, a three time Group 1 winner over the mile at Randwick, is his shortest-priced hope in Cox Plate betting out from $6 to $7.50.
Runner-up in all four of her runs this season, Redoute’s Choice mare Royal Descent then pays $11 to shrug her second placegetter status while Underwood Stakes champ two back Foreteller is on the rails and out to $31 after opening at a much shorter $21.
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