Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett has confirmed plans to target the 2016 Emirates Stakes with German raider Articus after his failed 13th in the Caulfield Cup on debut down under.
Last Saturday the Areion stallion lined-up in Australia for the first time as a $10 chance in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.
Things went amiss for the lightly-raced stallion however who could only manage to cross nine lengths away 13th behind Ciaron Maher’s saluting favourite Jameka.
Despite the disappointing effort, Lovett told Racing Victoria the galloper had come through the run without any lasting issues.
“He has come though the run without any issues, he was very worked up before the race and we are hoping that was the problem with him,” Lovett said.
He put the unplaced effort down to being “a bit too fresh” and was tipping improvement second-up during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We had him fit enough on the track but he hadn’t raced from July and was probably a bit too fresh in hindsight,” Lovett added.
The Andreas Wohler-trained five-year-old is heading towards a Flemington run on November 5 in the new-look $2 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m), formerly the Mackinnon Stakes, run at weight-for-age.
“The plan is to head to the Emirates Stakes and hopefully he can show his true form there,” Lovett said.
The rescheduled Melbourne Cup Carnival feature is held a week later than usual and offers more than double the previous prize money on offer in the original Mackinnon Stakes.
The bid to attract a better class of runners and keep the internationals racing on until the end of the carnival looks to be working.
The 2016 Emirates Stakes nominations close on Monday October 31 at 12:00pm (AEDT).
Current all-in Emirates Stakes betting markets at Australian bookmakers are keeping Winx and Hartnell at the top end.
Both runners face off at Moonee Valley this Saturday in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Chris Waller’s eight-time Group 1 winning Street Cry mare is the $2.15 favourite in Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to go back-to-back in the weight-for-age classic.
She was last seen posting her 12th straight win in the Group 1 Caulfield Classic (2000m) and is now out to complete a double last achieved by Ocean Park (2012).
Hartnell for John O’Shea and the Godolphin powerhouse meanwhile was ultra-impressive last time out at Flemington winning the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) by over three lengths.
Saturday sees him out to turn the tables on Winx who has beaten him home a number of times previously including in his fifth in the Cox Plate last season.
O’Shea is pleased with Hartnell’s barrier seven Cox Plate draw and is remaining confident.
To back your Cox Plate selections and access the best early Group 1 futures markets on the upcoming spring features head to Ladbrokes.com.au now – home of Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply).