The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Humidor was tipped as the potential rival to end the Winx winning streak in the Turnbull Stakes, but while he was well-beaten for third that day he gets the chance to finish closer with blinkers on for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate on Saturday.
The Darren Weir-trained son of Teofilo was second favourite in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 7 after the barnstorming three and a quarter-length lead-up win at the track in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
After all the pre-race hype leading up to the Chris Waller-trained Winx’s maiden run at Headquarters, it all fizzled out as the champion mare powered home for an effortless six and a half-length win over Ventura Storm.
Humidor meanwhile finished seven and a quarter-lengths off the super star rounding out the trifecta before backing-up in last weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Up over the mile-and-a-half and carrying 56kg top weight, Humidor finished fifth behind Lindsay Park’s shock Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time ($51) beaten just over two and a half-lengths.
Now the horse is a surprise inclusion in the nine-starter Ladbrokes Cox Plate field ready to go a second round with the queen of Australia racing.
The Cox Plate odds on Winx to secure the three-peat only ever achieved by Kingston Town (1980-82) are short with the daughter of Street Cry at $1.16 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Humidor heads to The Valley for the first time and is on the drift in the latest Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting markets out from $18 to $20.
Winx gets the run of the race from barrier six with plenty of galloping room for her and Hugh Bowman, while Humidor will be ridden by Blake Shinn from gate eight.
No Cox Plate winner in the past 30 plus years has won from barrier eight, and Saturday marks Shinn’s first ride on Weir’s import.
Winner of the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) over the Cox Plate distance defeating last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in the autumn, Humidor should appreciate the return to the metres boasting three wins and two other placings over the 2000m.
Weir also puts the blinkers on with Shinn hoping that will stop the horse from “laying-in”.
“He’s got blinkers on so hopefully that will assist with him laying-in a little bit but he’s obviously done that in a lot of his runs,” Shinn, 30, told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“Darren Weir – he’s a master – so the blinkers on, hopefully that’s the ace up his sleeve with him that he needs to tackle the great mare.”
Shinn may not have been in the saddle of Humidor just yet, but he’s kept a close eye on the horse’s lead-up spring runs including the Caulfield Cup a week ago.
“He’s a really well-credentialed horse,” he said.
“In the Caulfield Cup I thought his run was good. He was forward, which was not his normal pattern, but he stuck on well.
“It’s a horse race so anything can happen. We’ll be out there doing our best to win.
“If you take Winx out, he’s probably the best-credentialed horse in the race.”
Saturday is the fourth Cox Plate ride for Shinn whose best finish in the ‘race where legends are made’ was on 2013 third placegetter Fiorente.
To back Humidor for a 2017 Cox Plate placing behind the sure-to-be winner Winx visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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