The Cox Plate has always been the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Almalad, but is the three-year-old good enough to take out the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
Almalad won the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) as a two-year-old during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but he has performed inconsistently in his three race starts since returning to the races.
The Al Maher gelding started his spring campaign with a poor performance in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 30 before he returned to a semblance of his best form in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13.
Almalad returned to winning form in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26, but was one of the first horses beaten in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and he weakened in the final stages to finish eighth.
Can Almalad deliver trainer Gai Waterhouse her first Cox Plate win or has his tough Caulfield Guineas run taken too much out of the talented colt?
Cox Plate Horse Form: #12 Almalad
- Barrier: 8
- Weight: 49.5kg
- Jockey: Craig Newitt
- Trainer: Gai Waterhouise
- Owners: Realrosy Pty Ltd (Mgr: A G Rose), G K Holland, Ms E K Hancock, I Pirina, Mrs P Pirina, Dr P Chen, D I Flanagan & Mrs H Waterhouse
- Age: 3YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Al Maher from Illhaam
- Career: 7:4-0-0
- Win: 57%
- Place: 57%
- Last 5: 19418
- Prize Money: $ $602,500
- Track: 1:1-0-0
- Distance: 0:0-0-0
- Current 2014 Cox Plate Odds: $31
Why Almalad Can Be The 2014 Cox Plate Winner
- Three-year-olds have a good record in the Cox Plate and he will carry only 49 and a half kilograms on his back.
- The Cox Plate has always been the spring target for Almalad and is not an afterthought like it is for the other three-year-olds in the race.
- Almalad won his only previous start at Moonee Valley and his style of racing suits the tight-turning circuit.
- Gai Waterhouse has never won the Cox Plate, but she has gone close on a number of occasions and knows how to peak a horse for a big race.
Why Almalad Can’t Win The 2014 Cox Plate
- His performance in the Caulfield Guineas was not impressive and the tough run may have taken plenty out of the three-year-old.
- Almalad will be stepping up to 2040 metres for the first time in his racing career and he is no certainty to run out the trip.
- The Cleaner is set to make sure that the Cox Plate is run at a very generous tempo and that may not suit other on-pace runners like Almalad.
- Jockey Craig Newitt will be riding Almalad for the first time and he has never had any success in the Cox Plate.
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