Ciaron Maher’s promising young colt Brockhoff has taken the next step towards a possible Cox Plate 2015 campaign with a Tuesday win at Bairnsdale in Victoria.
The three-year-old son of Lonhro debuted in early February at Sandown-Hillside running a distant eighth when beating home just one other runner in the Group 3 Chariman’s Stakes (1000m) won by Robert Smerdon’s subsequent Group 3 winning filly Thurlow during the autumn.
Maher sent the galloper for a spell to mature after that unsuccessful first run and a stronger looking Brockhoff returned to racing on Tuesday afternoon in the $20,000 Team Staffing Maiden Plate (1000m) at the East Gippsland track.
Saluting for the punters as the $2.30 favourite with Luke Currie in the saddle, Brockhoff beat home Bally Paddy ($4.20) by a tidy two lengths in the set weights clash with Saving Winston ($4.60) in third a further one and three quarter lengths away as the first three in betting ran the trifecta in the exact order of the odds.
Maher is confident his winner has bigger things install as he progresses through his coming assignments, but admits the horse has a lot to learn if he is to go all the way to Moonee Valley on October 24 and make the field for the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
The bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au agree and Brockhoff is rated a $201 outsider in the futures Cox Plate odds that are led by European invitee Arod and the Godolphin-raced Contributer at $10 each to win the ‘race where legends are made’.
Whatever the spring holds for Brockhoff, his winning hoop on Tuesday Currie is convinced he is in for a big campaign and a “bright future” based on what he showed to break his maiden status.
“He did that very easily but he’s still got a bit to learn,” Currie told Racing Victoria.
“He got to the front with a hold and then had a bit of a look around so if he concentrated I think the margin would have been a lot more.
“He’s a nice horse.”
Since 1983 there has been five three-year-old Cox Plate winners, most recently the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award (2013) two years ago.
The next round of 2015 Cox Plate declarations narrowing down the list of potential runners in the weight-for-age feature are taken on September 8.
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