The Team Snowden trained Calanda will carry the...
Trainer Darren Weir is likely to have two 2017 Cox Plate horses out to score the upset over Winx with his Caulfield Cup graduate Humidor set to join Gailo Chop in The Valley classic on Saturday.
Weir already has his last start Ladbrokes Stakes winner Gailo Chop in the mix for a shot at Chris Waller’s dual defending champion in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
Now the master Victorian horseman is leaning at putting Teofilo gelding Humidor on the short seven day turnaround dropping down in distance off a run in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Winner of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) over the Flemington mile before his third to Winx at the same track in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 7, Humidor finished fifth to shock winner Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup going up to a mile-and-a-half.
The galloper was beaten 2.6 lengths carrying the 56kg top weight and Weir is keen to get him back to his pet distance in the Cox Plate.
Humidor boasts three wins, a second and a third from his five runs over the Cox Plate distance and was considered the horse to give Winx a run for her money when she debuted at Flemington in the Turnbull Stakes.
Weir’s Kiwi expat may not have been able to get within seven lengths of Winx in her runaway 6.5 length Turnbull Stakes success, but that won’t stop Weir having another go at the world’s best mare.
Winx is at historically short Cox Plate odds of $1.16 pre-field at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Three rivals are occupying the second line of futures Cox Plate betting at $17 including Gailo Chop.
Humidor meanwhile pays $26 and his final Cox Plate acceptance, at a cost of $27,500 to connections by 8:30am (AEDT) Tuesday, will be determined after a gallop tomorrow morning.
Weir worked the horse on Monday morning on the beach at Warrnambool where Humidor showed no ill-effects out of the Caulfield Cup run.
“We’re going to work him in the morning and see,” Weir told Racing Victoria on Monday.
“He’s just having a stroll around tomorrow and Jarrod [McLean] will give me the heads up if he’s happy with him.
“He just went to the beach in the morning. He’s come through it good.
“I’ve just got to be happy with him and he’s got to be well within himself.”
Should Weir put Humidor into the Cox Plate field, he will be working hard to find a hoop with the likes of Damian Lane, John Allen, Ben Allen and Brad Rawiller all serving suspensions.
Lane has partnered the horse for nine of his past 10 starts in 2017, while Mark Zahra rode him for the first-up sixth behind Hartnell in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19.
Zahra is not currently suspended, but is already committed to ride stablemate Gailo Chop in the Cox Plate after partnering the progressive seven-year-old import for his lead-up win on October 14 over subsequent Caulfield Cup third placegetter Johannes Vermeer in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
The inclusion of Humidor could see an eight-starter Cox Plate field, allowing for each-way betting on the weight-for-age classic with prize money paid down to eighth place.
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