The scratching of hot favourite Atlantic Jewel from Saturday’s $3 million dollar Cox Plate is unfortunate for us, as we were preparing to take her on.
Red Belly’s form expert Ed Kennett has analysed the field and is bullish about the chances of one horse.
Here are Ed’s thoughts on each runner:
Green Moon: His preparation is going along okay, despite the fact he was scratched from the Caulfield Stakes with an elevated temperature.This time last year he had also run in the Turnbull Stakes.
Goes into the race 3rd up which is a positive and I can argue that with only a 1400m and an 1800m under his belt, combined with the penalty for winning the Melbourne Cup last year, that the Cox Plate may well be the Grand Final.
I expect to be on it small, market depending.
Happy Trails: A few seasons ago (before it had done anything) I told members that this horse is one of the best handicappers in the country, but his win in the Turnbull proves he has developed into a genuine weight-for-age performer.
I know he tends to race forward, but I am still worried that from barrier two he could end up stuck on the fence, a recipe for disaster at this track.
His run in the Turnbull was huge, but that was at Flemington, and the Valley is another kettle of fish.
Fiorente: I love this horse, he has been my Melbourne Cup selection for the best part of 12 months (backed it all in at $34).
I’d still prefer to be on him in a handicap, but he’s definitely a weight-for-age performer.
Has drawn poorly and will have to come from a long way back. He can win, but has too much against him for mine.
Wait until the Cup,then get ”all over it”.
Side Glance: With both overseas runners, there are simply too many question marks to seriously entertain backing either one of them.
Seville: We were on him at double-figure odds in The Metropolitan, but I can’t see him doing anything here.
Rekindled interest: Will start shorter than it should because it has a good record at Moonee Valley.
Has been going like a busted for a long time now and I give it no winning hope at all.
Puissance De Lune: Not going as well as we all expected it would, given its performances last spring.
One thing that could work in its favour is rain. If the rain arrives and the track is affected, it will improve sharply.
Can win if it gets conditions to suit.
Masked Marvel: Another one of Lloyd’s preparing for the Cup.
Mull Of Killough: Refer to comment for Side Glance.
It’s A Dundeel: The best horse in the race, and the one we want to be on.
Maps well despite a wide draw, and will be ready to go, despite talk that he’ll be a run short after missing the Caulfield Stakes with a hoof abscess.
Gun horse with a gun jockey in James McDonald. We’re keen.
Super Cool: Talented horse but not going as well as he was in the autumn when he won the Australian Cup.
Even if it rains, there’s absolutely no way I could entertain backing him.
Long John: It takes an exceptional 3-year-old to win the Cox Plate, and he’s not exceptional, he’s just good.
All Too Hard and Pierro couldn’t get it done last year, and those two have lengths on Long John.
I can’t blame Peter Snowden for having a throw at the stumps though, his Caulfield Guineas win was excellent.
Shamus Award: Inferior to Long John. I wouldn’t back this bloke with someone else’s money.
We’re very keen on It’s A Dundeel, for all the reasons outlined above.
A number of other runners come into contention if they get conditions to suit, such as Puissance De Lune getting a soft track.
At this stage, the only certainty for us is that we’ll be formulating our strategy around It’s A Dundeel and Green Moon possibly.