Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Connections of the Darren Weir-trained Toorak Handicap winner Tosen Stardom are set to avoid a loss to Winx in this weekend’s 2017 Cox Plate and wait for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Deep Impact stallion Tosen Stardom has been performing well all spring with four Caulfield runs headlined by his Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) success on October 14 from barrier 16 of 18.
Still officially entered for a clash with dual defending champion Winx in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday, the seven-year-old is unlikely to take on the world’s best mare.
Instead Jamie Lovett from Australian Bloodstock will recommend to Weir that the $2 million earner be saved for Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 4, for a run in the race now known as the Group 1 $1 million Kennedy Mile (1600m).
“I haven’t spoken to Weiry but my preference will be to run at Flemington,” he told Racing Victoria.
“He’s a live chance in that Group 1 mile race at Flemington whereas he doesn’t really have a hope of beating Winx in a Cox Plate.”
Weir will still be in with a shot at the improbable upset Cox Plate result with his last start Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) winning French import Gailo Chop.
After saluting for the punters in Cox Plate betting by increasingly dominant margins over the past two seasons, the Chris Waller-trained Winx is already odds-on at $1.16 in pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
She made history with her eight length romp home at $1.70 last year and is now set to start the shortest-priced Cox Plate favourite since Phar Lap won his second at $1.07 in 1931.
Gailo Chop pays $17 in the all-in Cox Plate odds, equal with the Charlie Appleby-trained Godolphin raider Folkswood coming off the impressive Cranbourne Cup win and beaten Craven Plate favourite last time out in Sydney Happy Clapper.
Folkswood has Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle on Saturday, the hoop also confirmed to ride Australian Bloodstock’s German invader Red Cardinal in the Group 1 $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 7.
“It is a big challenge to be coming up against Winx, but Folkswood is an improving young horse, who deserves his chance to be running in a race such as the Cox Plate,” Appleby told The Daily Telegraph over the weekend.
Happy Clapper meanwhile has Damien Oliver aboard in the Cox Plate field taking over for Blake Shinn, Oliver having ridden two past champions to victory with Dane Ripper (1997) and Northerly (2001).
Winx could face a Cox Plate field as small as six starters, reminiscent of Tobin Bronze beating six rivals back in 1967.
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