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Gai Waterhouse’s Cox Plate 2015 bound French import Pornichet had jockey Blake Shinn announcing a “big prep” ahead for the champ after a strong Randwick trial on Monday morning.
A rising four-year-old Vespone stallion, Pornichet was last seen winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane to cap off a solid autumn – winter campaign on May 9.
That followed a string of good runs including a fifth to Kermadec in Randwick’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April and his Toowoomba Cup win a week before the big Doomben win.
Group 1 performed in France, Waterhouse is hoping Pornichet can add more elite level success to his record down under when he returns for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bid in the coming weeks.
He showed he was on track to do just that when running over an unsuitably short 1200m at Royal Randwick this morning, Shinn guiding him to a strong third behind winning stablemate Excess Knowledge and the Les Bridge-trained runner-up Queen Of Sheba in the second heat run on a Heavy (9).
Pornichet crossed four and a quarter lengths off the fellow Waterhouse-trained import Excess Knowledge, whose last run was a win in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) in late March, in the hitout that was won in 1.16.10.
It was enough to impress Shinn who wrote on Twittter was happy with how Pornichet performed on the mud track.
“Pornichet had an easy time out at the trials this morning at Royal Randwick- track was very heavy so left plenty in the tank. Big prep ahead,” Shinn tweeted.
The big one Waterhouse is aiming Pornichet for this time in is the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Waterhouse has saddled up 20 Cox Plate runners over the past 30 odds years but has never prepared a winner, her best results in the weight-for-age championship being two seconds and a trio of third place finishes.
That’s something Pornichet is rated a good chance to change this season, early Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au installing the galloper as equal $10 second elect with the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained international Group 1 performer Criterion.
The futures Cox Plate betting markets have Hong Kong’s Able Friend and the John O’Shea-trained Contributer, last see winning the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21, both at $9 for the win currently.
Waterhouse won a total of five trials this morning including the first with Manduro gelding Greatwood who hasn’t raced since a failed effort in the 2014 Australian Cup.
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