The Lindsay Park Team will saddle up another Group 1 longshot when Seaburge lines up against the super mare Winx in the 2017 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig claimed the first prize with $51 outsider Boom Time in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield but a win over the Queen Of The Australian Turf looks very unlikely.
Seaburge is marked at $101 with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Cox Plate while Winx is the only one the punters want at $1.16 but Ben Hayes said that it was worth running in ‘The Weight For Age Championship’ with prizemoney of $100,000 being paid down to eighth spot.
“We think 2000 (metres) is what he’s looking for so we thought it was worth having a throw at the stumps,” Ben Hayes told AAP.
“We’ve won the race six times and been placed in it multiple times.
“You never know what can happen in racing.”
Seaburge was rated one of the top three year olds during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival after running second to Divine Prophet in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield and two starts later was runner up again to Awesome Rock in the weight for age Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
The Sebring four year old has been unplaced from six runs since but did show some improvement last start with fifth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Hayes said that he is expecting further improvement from Seaburge following a change in his training routine and the step up to the 2040m will also be in his favour.
“In the Makybe Diva he had an internal bleed so we’ve been training him differently now,” Hayes said.
“We’ve got him out in a paddock and he’s come good in the coat.
“We think we’ve found the trick to him and we won’t be surprised if he runs a big race.”
Seaburge has drawn the inside barrier with Regan Bayliss to ride while Winx will jump from gate six with regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle again.
The Chris Waller trained Winx is chasing her twenty-second win in succession and a third consecutive Cox Plate victory will see her equal the legendary Kingston Town’s record he set with wins in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Winx kicked off her 2017 Spring Carnival campaign with two heart stopping wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick before adding to her Group 1 winning tally with a convincing win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16.
The Queen Of The Australian Turf then took her Group 1 winning record to fourteen with a runaway win in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and in the process extended her winning sequence to twenty-one.