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The 2015 Cox Plate at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse this spring is an option for the Alwin Tan-trained War Affair after the progressive galloper’s big Group 1 win at home in Singapore over the weekend.
Ridden by Alan Munro, the four-year-old O’Reilly gelding saluted in his third straight turf triumph when putting three lengths on runner-up Quechua in the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) over the mile at Kranji Racecourse on Sunday.
That was War Affair’s fifth Group 1 win and put him right in the mix for a trip down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Tan looking at a run in the $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Futures Cox Plate odds open online at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Hong Kong champ Able Friend ($7), prepared by Aussie expat John Moore, while War Affair is yet to be added to the markets.
The Cox Plate though looks a more than suitable target down under for the impressive Patron’s Bowl winner after he took out the opening two legs of the 4YO Triple Crown Challenge.
The first was the Stewards’ Cup (1400m), which War Affair won by a length defeating Happy Money in late May.
“I have not really thought of any race, but a race like the Cox Plate could be something to consider,” Tan told the Singapore Turf Club after Sunday’s victory.
War Affair has raced over as long as 2200m when he ran fifth to subsequent Patron’s Bowl runner-up Quechua in the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup last November.
Before that he won over 1800m taking out the Group 1 Raffles Cup, his longest distanced win to date, with Tan looking at stepping him up over 2000m at home in the Singapore Derby on July 12 before a possible trip to Australia for the Cox Plate.
“This was a better win than over 1400m (Stewards’ Cup). He’s definitely better over the mile,” Tan said of the Patron’s Bowl victory.
“The Derby is on target, but the distance will be another challenge as he’s never gone over such a long distance before (2000m).”
To date War Affair has won 14 of his 19 races and has finished out of the money on only two occasions, an excellent record he’ll look to add to when tested over further in the Derby.
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