Jockey Brad Rawiller gets the chance to secure his first winning ride in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship after being booked to replace the suspended Blake Shinn aboard Preferment in Saturday’s 2015 Cox Plate.
Shinn, who would have also been chasing his maiden victory in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse, will miss the Melbourne Spring Racing Classic after copping an eight-meeting suspension for a carless ride in last Sunday’s Seymour Cup.
He was found to cause interference to two other runners early in the country mile showdown, won by the Murray Baker-trained New Zealander Turn Me Loose who heads towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Shinn meanwhile was aboard the unplaced Madam Gangster in the Seymour Cup and will now miss out on a crucial carnival mount aboard Chris Waller’s 2014 Victoria Derby winning Zabeel stallion Preferment.
The now four-year-old Sydney-based galloper comes off back-to-back wins this time in the first being a second-up success over subsequent The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick before he travelled to Melbourne and won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
With a gun record over 2000m of two wins and a second from three starts, the Cox Plate at weight-for-age looks an ideal target this weekend for Preferment who is rated a $13 chance in the pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all Cox Plate Day races this weekend!
Hugh Bowman has been aboard Preferment for his two latest wins with Shinn originally set to replace him in the Cox Plate before his suspension.
Along with Preferment’s new hoop Rawiller, Sydney’s best trainer Waller chases his first Cox Plate success on the weekend and will have three runners in the 14-starter field.
His two other hopes are third and fourth favourites Winx ($6) and Kermadec ($6.50).
Four-year-old Street Cry mare Winx has won her four latest runs including the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) in the winter and the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 3 last time out.
The last Cox Plate winner to come directly out of the Epsom was Pinker Pinker (2011), runner-up in the Sydney mile showdown in the lead-up, who was also the last mare to beat home the boys in a Cox Plate.
Kermadec is a dual Group 1 winner over 1600m at Randwick, the Teofilo stallion last seen crossing fourth to current Cox Plate co-favourite Criterion ($5.50) – who is equal odds with Highland Reel from the Irish stables of last year’s winning trainer Aidan O’Brien – in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 10.
The Caulfield Stakes last produced a Cox Plate winner only three years ago when New Zealand-trained Ocean Park completed the double the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion also looks to achieve this spring.
Bowman meanwhile got first choice out of Waller’s two other runners in the classic and opted to partner Winx, leaving Glen Boss to partner Kermadec.
Boss has ridden three previous Cox Plate winners with Makybe Diva (2005), So You Think (2009) and Ocean Park (2012).
He also has plenty of form on Kermadec including riding the horse to victory in the Doncaster Mile during the autumn and for his last start in the Caulfield Stakes.
Back your Cox Plate selections online through Ladbrokes.com.au on Saturday and win more thanks to their exclusive Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the entire card!