Lindsay Park’s new stable acquisition Cape Of Good Hope has set sail for the Cox Plate after scoring a narrow but impressive win in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield today.
The former Aidan O’Brien trained Cape Of Good Hope was having his first run for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig and courtesy of a brilliant Mark Zahra ride, the Northern Hemisphere three year old was able to show his class.
Zahra settled Cape Of Good Hope ($21) in the second half of the field and stuck to the inside for the majority of the race while Damien Oliver on Gailo Chop ($9) set the pace up front.
Zahra bided his time on the home turn before peeling off the heels of Black Heart Bart at the 300m to give Cape Of Good Hope a clear run to the line.
Black Heart Bart hit the front at the 200m and looked like making it back to back Group 1 wins but was claimed right on the line by Cape Of Good Hope and Zahra.
A wall of horses went across the line for third prizemoney with the judge picking our Harlem ($26) ahead of Avilius ($2.05 favourite), Humidor ($19), Homesman ($4.40) and Gailo Chop with a nose margin between them all.
Lindsay Park head trained David Hayes was thrilled to see Cape Of Good Hope get the judge’s decision after instigating the purchase of the Galileo stallion from the Aidan O‘Brien stable in Ireland.
“We have never been more happy with the horse coming through. He looks like a true weight for age horse,” Hayes said.
“We kept him really lightly trained at Werribee (quarantine center) and I thought if he didn’t run well he could improve by stepping the work up but I think I won’t be stepping the work up, I will be keeping him exactly the same going into the Cox Plate.”
“The Cox Plate and the Mackinnon are his two main games and this was a nice warm up race.”