Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Xtravagant is reportedly in excellent condition ahead of his flight to Australia next week for a Spring Carnival campaign, to be geared towards the 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in late October.
Xtravagant has been a strong and consistent performer for trainer Stephen Autridge throughout his short but impressive racing career so far; posting six wins and a minor through ten starts; highlighted by a dominant eight-and-a-half length win in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000m Guineas (1400m) in November.
Racing Manager for owners Te Akau Racing, Jamie Richards told Racing Ahead the colt has thrived in his time away from racing, and revealed he will not run in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) as previously speculated.
“He seems to be very well and I’m very happy with how he’s returned to the stable,” Richards said.
“He’s strengthened up, his attitude hasn’t changed and he’s a good horse to handle around the stable.
“He’s done a few little bits of easy work now and we’re just starting to build him up, so we’re really happy with where he’s at.
“He’ll be over next Wednesday and will be stabled at Steve Richards’ at Flemington. We wanted to get him over nice and early, get him settled in and acclimatised and make sur everything is ticking along nicely.
“At this stage we’ll probably look to get him into a jump out at Flemington the Friday week after he arrives, then make some more serious plans from there.
“We’re probably a run behind getting him into that weight-for-age series. I don’t want to run him in the Memsie Stakes first-up over 1400m and give him a real gut buster.
“He’ll either run in the Heath or more likely, the Chandler MacLeod at the Valley. Listed 1200m, I think that’s probably where he’ll kick off.
“It should be a good opportunity to get a little cover and really attack the line. He’ll have a little bit of weight but it should be a good confidence boosting option for him.”
Richards confirmed the 2016 Cox Plate remains the major target for the son of Pentire this season, and revealed runs in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) are likely to figure as lead-ins.
“The Cox Plate is the aim at this stage and we’ve probably still got a couple of little question marks surrounding how far he’s going to run,” Richards said.
“The way he’s relaxing and the way he’s working at home, and the way he’s bred suggests the 2000m around Moonee Valley shouldn’t be a problem for him.”
Ladbrokes.com.au are currently offering Xtravagant at early 2016 Cox Plate odds of $26.
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