The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Danny O’Brien trained Russian Camelot put to bed any doubt surrounding his 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate chances by taking out Saturday’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Following what was an impressive first-up run a fortnight ago when second to Fierce Impact in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), the Irish raider was quickly installed as the $1.60 favourite in Ladbrokes’ Underwood market to add a second Group 1 win to his growing resume.
The four-year-old son of Camelot won the South Australian Derby at Morphettville back in May to close out his maiden prep, and has since returned to the races in almost scary fashion as he eyes off bigger and better things later in the Spring.
After plenty of debate during the week, jockey Damien Oliver chose to go right to the front on Saturday from the wide draw, a decision that paid off brilliantly as the pair drew clear to win by close to two lengths from the very brave Humidor.
“We had a few discussions about it, but I got sick of talking about it in the end, so I said Damien, you’re on the best horse and you’re the best jockey, you guys will sort it out when you get out there,” O’Brien told racing.com.
The hype around Russian Camelot has been growing ever since he stormed home to a dominant win in the South Australian Derby, which in turn cemented him as one Australia’s top horses to beat heading into October.
Following another convincing win on Saturday, it appears O’Brien is now firmly set on running in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), a race he won back in 2014 with Shamus Award.
“I think he’s the best horse I’ve had anything to do with, particularly to do so much so early in his career, he’s a magnificent colt and we’re thrilled he’s got this done today, and hopefully that’s not the end of the Spring for him” O’Brien said.
The champion trainer went on to say that he intends to run in the Caulfield Stakes in two weeks’ time before heading to the big one at Moonee Valley on October 24.
“That’s our plan, to go two weeks to the Caulfield Stakes and then two weeks to the Cox Plate.”
Russian Camelot has firmed significantly in the market from $5.00 into $3.60, alongside Humidor ($26 into $21), who ran on extremely well for second on Saturday in just his second start under Chris Waller.
Ladbrokes’ complete 2020 Cox Plate market can be viewed here.
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