Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement is no certainty to run in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 with the Chris Waller camp still undecided on a run in the weight for age championship.
The Waller trained Press Statement had to overcome a wide barrier and Hugh Bowman let the Hinchinbrook colt stride to the front before careering away in the straight to record a one and three quarter lengths win over Lizard Island in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Waller wouldn’t commit to running Press Statement in the Cox Plate shortly after winning the Caulfield Guineas and said a decision would be made after discussions with the owners.
The premiership winning trainer then reported over the weekend that there was only a twenty per cent chance that he would take his place in the Cox Plate in a fortnight.
“I’d say he’s a 20 percent chance (to run in the Cox Plate),” Waller told racing.com.
“The good part is, there’s no pressure from the owners. If I think it’s in the best interests of the horse he’ll be there, but if it’s not then he won’t.
“He’d have to really come through it well.
“There’s no harm in putting him away and coming back and trying to win multiple Group 1 races in autumn.”
If Waller decided not to run Press Statement at Moonee Valley, he would probably set him for the Autumn Carnival with several Group 1 races at three year old level for the taking as well as multiple weight for age races and then prepare him for the 2016 Cox Plate.
Waller was full of praise with Bowman’s initiative to go to the front when the plan was to try and get some cover in the early stages and the top jockey was also promoting Press Statement as a serious Cox Plate contender if not this year but next year.
“I would say that this will be one of the top Cox Plate contenders next year. He has probably earned himself a run this year. It is going to be a hard race for a three year old in my opinion but I will leave that to connections,” Bowman said.
“This time next year he will be a serious Cox Plate horse in my opinion.”
“He is a star in the making, there is no doubt about it.”
Press Statement’s Cox Plate price has shortened up to $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au following his Caulfield Guineas win and he is on the fifth line of betting behind the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion who is the ruling favourite at $5.50.
Criterion jumped to the top of the market order after he returned to the winner’s stall beating Happy Trails and Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $400,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Waller has the next two in the betting with Caulfield Stakes fourth placegetter Kermadec at $6.50 and Epsom winner Winx at $7.
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