Can Wandjina Justify Gai’s Faith In The Cox Plate?

Trainer Gai Waterhouse has been adamant that Wandjina can win the 2014 Cox Plate, but is the inconsistent three-year-old a genuine contender in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley tomorrow?

Jockey Dean Yendall has been booked to ride Wandjina in the 2014 Cox Plate. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Jockey Dean Yendall has been booked to ride Wandjina in the 2014 Cox Plate. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Wandjina recorded just one race win as a two-year-old and he started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 16 and he failed to fire in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 13.

The Snitzel colt returned to a semblance of his best form in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 28 and was disappointing in the Listed Vintage Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 4, but he launched himself into Cox Plate contention with a fast-finishing third behind Shooting To Win and Rich Enuff in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.

Were connections right to pay the late entry fee to get Wandjina into the Cox Plate or have they wasted their money?

Cox Plate Horse Form: #14 Wandjina

  • Barrier: 5
  • Weight: 49.5kg
  • Jockey: Dean Yendall
  • Trainer: Gai Waterhouse
  • Owners: Dr E G T Bateman & Mrs B C Bateman
  • Age: 3YO
  • Gender: Colt
  • Breeding: by Snitzel from La Bamba
  • Career: 9:1-0-1
  • Win: 11%
  • Place: 22%
  • Last 5: 40473
  • Prize Money: $161,800
  • Track: 0:0-0-0
  • Distance: 0:0-0-0
  • Current 2014 Cox Plate Odds: $34

Why Wandjina Can Be The 2014 Cox Plate Winner

  • Wandjina has similar form lines to Shamus Award who took out the 2013 Cox Plate after finishing third in the Caulfield Guineas a fortnight earlier.
  • Three-year-olds have a good record in the Cox Plate and the Snitzel colt will only have 49 and a half kilograms on his back.
  • Wandjina has produced his best performances when given the chance to settle in the early stages of the race before working home strongly and that pattern of racing will be suited by the expected quick tempo in the Cox Plate.

Why Wandjina Can’t Win The 2014 Cox Plate

  • The form coming out of the Caulfield Guineas has not been strong to date, Kumaon and Merion flopped in the Caulfield Classic last weekend, and the tough run would have taken plenty out of Wandjina.
  • He is stepping up to 2040 metres for the first time in his racing career and his pedigree does not suggest that he will get the trip – especially in what is set to be a fast edition of the Cox Plate.
  • Wandjina has already had five race starts this preparation and the Cox Plate comes as an afterthought at the end of what has been a tough three-year-old campaign.
  • The Snitzel colt has only recorded one win, in a restricted race at Warwick Farm, and this is one of the toughest races on the Australian racing calendar.
  • Jockey Dean Yendall has never ridden in the Cox Plate and is yet to record a win at Group 1 level.

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