Jockey Chad Schofield is hoping that history can repeat itself when he jumps aboard three year old Sweynesse in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Schofield created his own bit of history last year when he recorded his first Group 1 victory with an all the way win on three year old Shamus Award, the first horse to win the prestigious weight for age race as a maiden performer.
The boilover result also saw Schofield become the first apprentice rider to win the Cox Plate since Brent Thomson took out the ‘Weight-For-Age Championship of Australasia’ on Fury’s Order in 1975.
Schofield is giving himself a better chance of winning this year than last year with the John O’Shea trained Sweynesse having won four of his five race starts and also put in a first class gallop at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning.
“On his work, I’m glad he’s in the race,” Schofield told the Herald Sun.
“He’s fit, well and got round the track no problem as if he’s been here a number of times before.
“He’s got a great attitude and he’s got everything to suggest he can handle a weight-for-age race like a Cox Plate.”
“Last year I went into the race on a maidener. This year I’m going in with a horse that’s won four from five. So I’m a chance,”
“He’s just the whole package. He’s got attitude, physique, substance and style. He’s got it all.”
“To come in on Saturday with a chance to defend the Cox Plate would be pretty good.”
Sweynesse is one of three three-year-olds included in the final fourteen horse Cox Plate field with Gai Waterhouse supplying the other two, Group 1 JJ Atkins winner Almalad and Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Wandjina.
The Godolphin owned Sweynesse’s only defeat was his latest outing when third behind Hampton Court and First Seal in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 11.
At his two previous starts Sweynesse won the Group 3 $125,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 17 and the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 27.
Sweynesse is a $21 chance for the Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au while Almalad and Wandjina are both marked at $34.
Last start Caulfield Stakes winner Fawkner is the $4.20 favourite ahead of the Chris Waller trained Sacred Falls at $6 and the Irish galloper Adelaide at $7.
The David Payne trained Criterion is also well in contention at $8.50 following his first class effort when second to Fawkner at Caulfield.