Cox Plate a possibility for Long John

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Peter Snowden hasn’t ruled out a start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley for his Caulfield Guineas winner Long John.

Long John winning the Caulfield Guineas.

Long John winning the Caulfield Guineas. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

But a start in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2 is definitely off the table.

Snowden has shied away from Flemington, acknowledging that Long John has not had a Derby preparation but a start in the weight for age championship of Australasia at Moonee Valley on October 26 is under consideration.

Snowden said in post-race interviews after Long John won the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last Saturday that the Street Cry three year old could go onto the Cox Plate and or the Victoria Derby, but after having time to absorb the win, the top trainer has ruled a Derby start.

“You say things after a race when your head is still in the clouds,” Snowden told the Daily Telegraph.

“But I’ve been thinking long and hard about it since and Long John hasn’t had a Derby preparation.

“He has pulled up great, I’d seriously consider another run, but to my mind the Derby is not on the agenda.”

“The Cox Plate is in the mix with Long John.”

The Group 2 $220,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase over 2040m for the three year olds on Cox Plate day is also an easier option if Snowden doesn’t want to take on the top weight for age horses.

Two years ago Snowden had no hesitation in running his Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet against the older weight for age horses, but the front runner was overhauled in the straight to finish eighth to Pinker Pinker and he will use that experience as a yard stick.

“I thought Helmet was a really good chance in the Cox Plate a couple of years ago but he came undone on the day, probably from a hard run two weeks before and he raced a little keen on the day,” Snowden said.

“Long John is different, he’s a relaxed type of horse, but he still does a few things wrong in his races.

“He’s not bombproof which you need to be when you are taking on the A-graders, but he is very, very tough.

“So, we have the option of putting him in the Cox Plate, having a throw at the stumps, or running him in the three-year-old race the same day where you know he will be very competitive.”

Long John is now a $16 chance for the Cox Plate alongside of stablemate Guelph who also hasn’t been confirmed a starter, but hasn’t been ruled out either.

Mark Kavanagh’s super mare Atlantic Jewel heads the market order at $2.30 ahead of Fiorente at $5 and It’s A Dundeel at $6 with Puissance De Lune on the next line of betting at $9.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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