The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Cox Plate in a fortnight is calling for the now seven-time Group 1 champion Alligator Blood who proved he could run a strong 2000m with an enormous win for the punters in Saturday’s 2023 Might And Power Stakes.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained marvel backed-up from his second Underwood Stakes success and silenced the critics who said he couldn’t win over the extra trip in a powerhouse Group 1 $1 million Might And Power Stakes (2000m) performance on Caulfield Guineas Day.
“He just did it so easily. He’s joyous,” co-trainer Waterhouse told Racing.com after the impressive win.
“Alligator just said ‘see you later alligator!’
“He’s tough, he’s an elite racehorse, and we’re very privileged to see a horse like him.”
Michael Kent’s mare Deny Knowledge set a hectic pace in the race formerly known as the Caulfield Stakes leading them by eight or nine lengths for the most part.
Jockey Tim Clark sat patiently on the ‘Gator in second with the galloper taking the field up off that quick speed to close the gap as they approached the home turn.
The best horse in the race hit the front at the top of the straight with 300m to go and Alligator Blood ($3.40) quickly put the Might And Power Stakes result beyond doubt.
Danny O’Brien’s 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare ($71) ran a big race over the final furlong at a massive price to get up into second three lengths beaten in a terrific trial for another shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ on the first Tuesday of November.
The Edward Cummings-trained mare Duais ($4) was also excellent making up ground along the fence to come from last to third and complete the Might And Power trifecta ahead of a potential quick back-up into next weekend’s Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
It was a mixed result for the Waterhouse/Bott stable whose other runner, last start Group 1 The Metropolitan winner Just Fine, faltered with at weight-for-age finishing last as the beaten favourite.
Alligator Blood joined an elite list of horses to become just the fourth this century to compete the Underwood Stakes – Caulfield Stakes double along with Northerly, So You Think and Ocean Park.
Waterhouse celebrated her second victory in the event having won 12 years ago with Descarado (2011) while Clark enjoyed his first win in the race.
“Unreal what he’s done for me and my family,” Clark said post-victory.
“He’s just been a wonderful horse.
“Seven-time Group 1 winner, five at weight-for-age, he’s a real star.
“He showed he could run a strong 2000 (metres) today.”
Alligator Blood is now set for the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
2023 Might And Power Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||3||59kg||$3.40|
|2||2||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Billy Egan||2L||8||59kg||$71|
|3||9||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Blake Shinn||3L||10||57kg||$4|
|4||3||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Harry Coffey||6L||5||59kg||$10|
|5||4||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Mark Zahra||6.75L||7||59kg||$41|
|6||10||DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE)||Michael Kent||Wiremu Pinn (a)||7.25L||2||57kg||$31|
|7||5||HEZASHOCKA (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damian Lane||8.5L||9||59kg||$41|
|8||8||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||8.6L||1||58kg||$19|
|9||7||FORGOT YOU (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||John Allen||9.35L||6||59kg||$18|
|10||6||JUST FINE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Jordan Childs||10.35L||4||59kg||$3.10F|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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