Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Irish raider Riven Light could attempt to repeat the double achieved by super mare Winx last spring with trainer William Mullins looking at the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes as a possible lead-up into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 for the visitor.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Chris Waller’s champion daughter of Street Cry successfully defended her title in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) defeating Hartnell by a record margin of eight lengths at Moonee Valley.
Winx won her second Cox Plate trophy on the back of a lead-up win in the $1 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) a fortnight earlier, which is the race Mullins is thinking of running Riven Light in for the horse’s Australian debut in 2017.
“Nothing has been finalised and if he does run in the Caulfield Stakes we’ll see how things go and take it from there,” Mullins told the Racing Post this week.
The Caulfield Stakes – W.S. Cox Plate double was also recently achieved by Ocean Park (2012).
Mullins’ Raven’s Pass gelding Riven Light, who will race down under as a six-year-old, is one of 15 international Cox Plate nominees this spring and is currently in quarantine at Newmarket.
The galloper is due on the first shipment to Melbourne, the European visitors set to arrive in Victoria in late September, possibly on Epsom Handicap Day (September 30).
The Cox Plate looks Winx’s for the taking again with the dual defending champion already odds-on at $1.50 in futures Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to join Kingston Town (1980-82) with three victories.
It was decided by Waller this week that the likely final Cox Plate lead-up for Winx in 2017 would see the six-year-old have her maiden Flemington run on October 7 in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Riven Light meanwhile is currently listed as a $101 roughie in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate odds.
Mullins is yet to saddle up a horse in a Cox Plate field, but he has had four runners in the iconic Melbourne Cup over the years including Max Dynamite who ran second to Darren Weir’s $101 roughie Prince Of Penzance in 2015.
Veteran Great Journey gelding Max Dynamite is tipped to return down under for another shot at the Group 1 $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.
The stable’s other Melbourne Cup 2017 entry is Doncaster Cup runner-up Thomas Hobson, and both gallopers are expected to enter quarantine next Wednesday.
Before heading to Australia, Max Dynamite may have a final run at home in a Group 3 at Naas this weekend.
“We’ll decide in a few days whether he’ll run at Naas,” Mullins said.
“We haven’t made any definite decisions about him or Thomas Hobson but it’s likely that they will both go into quarantine next week.”
Pre-field Melbourne Cup odds are dominated by the defending Lloyd Williams-owned champion Almandin ($6.50).
Max Dynamite and Thomas Hobson are listed as $67 roughies to take out the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Mullins is also set to have a Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) contender on October 21 in Wicklow Brave, the nine-year-old last seen running fourth to Order Of St George in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) on September 10.
Wicklow Brave contested last year’s Melbourne Cup, but failed to come within 24 lengths of the winner when finishing a disappointing 22nd.
For the Caulfield Cup, the ageing stayer is at a current quote of $51.
Check out all the latest Spring Racing Carnival Group 1 odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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