Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Having copped plenty of slack for his dead last aboard fading frontrunner Royal Descent in last weekend’s Caulfield Cup, big race specialist Glen Boss gets the chance to atone on another Chris Waller-trained Group 1 winner with his fourth Cox Plate success on Kermadec this Saturday.
Boss got caught three-wide in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and had no chance but to take Royal Descent up front, from where she faded in the finish crossing 18th of 18 runners in the mile and a half classic.
This Saturday Boss returns for a ride in the second of the ‘Big 3’ Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors, the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
He is the most successful Cox Plate winning jockey in recent history riding three winners in the past decade with Makybe Diva (2005), So You Think (2009) and most recently the New Zealand-trained Ocean Park (2012).
This weekend he partners one of three final acceptors in the capacity 14-starter field for Sydney’s number one trainer Waller, who has had five previous Cox Plate starters without success.
A dual Group 1 winner having taken out the Doncaster Mile and the George Main Stakes over the 1600m at Randwick, Teofilo stallion Kermadec was last seen running fourth to Criterion in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) two weeks ago.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained international performer Criterion, seventh in last year’s Cox Plate behind Irish raider Adelaide, trails only Highland Reel ($5) at $6 in the current Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on all of the Moonee Valley races this Saturday!
Highland Reel is trained by last year’s winning horseman Aidan O’Brien and like his former stablemate Adelaide, now prepared by Waller, he won the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes in the USA leading up to his Cox Plate raid.
Kermadec meanwhile is an $8 hope in Cox Plate betting drawn in barrier 10, which hasn’t produced a winner since Bonecrusher (1986).
Waller said a “normally run Cox Plate” would best suit Kermadec, while his other two chances Preferment ($13) and Winx ($7.50) were best suited to a fast-paced and slower-run edition of the event respectively.
Boss rode Kermadec to victory in the autumn’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and has ridden him in three of his four runs this time in, including the Caulfield Stakes fourth.
He rates his horse a big hope on Saturday, saying it had always been the long term option and that despite his best form being at a mile, Boss got the impression he could run a very solid 2000m.
“Chris has had this race in mind from the get-go,” Boss told Racenet.
“When I rode him first-up I said he gave me the feel of a mile-and-a-quarter horse.
“He did feel the firm ground at Caulfield. He’s a couple of lengths better horse if he gets his toe into the ground which he’s going to get here.”
Kermadec was one of a large contingent of Cox Plate hopes that worked at Moonee Valley’s Breakfast with the Best on Tuesday morning, Boss riding home over 1000m in a time of 1:13.21, including the final 400m sectional in a sharp 24.22 seconds.
Waller’s last start Epsom Handicap winner Winx ran the fastest of the Waller’s gallopers clocking 1:08.38 seconds, while Preferment finished 1200m in 1:26.90.
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