Trainer John O’ Shea will take Cox Plate fancy Contributer to Moonee Valley next Tuesday morning for a gallop before he faces the tricky circuit under race conditions for the first time in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 5.
O’Shea is in Melbourne for a couple of days overseeing the preparation of his Southern team and is happy with the condition of his weight for age star Contributer after he galloped today.
“He came off the track feeling really well and had a little bit of a trot around the bull ring and we are really happy with him,” O’Shea told Sky Racing’s HQ.
The Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 is Contributer’s main Spring Carnival goal and O’Shea wants to give classy six year old a look at the track before he steps out there on race day.
“I just want to give him a look at the Valley, acquaint himself with it and hopefully that will do us in good stead for the later part of the Spring,” O’Shea said.
“He will definitely go next Tuesday. I think he will have a nice gallop there on Tuesday and we are looking forward to taking him there on race day.”
The Godolphin owned English import raced in outstanding form during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and kicked off his hat trick of wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 14.
Contributer then stepped up to Group 1 grade and was able to beat his stablemate Hartnell in the $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and then made it back to back Group 1 weight for age wins in the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
O’Shea has given the High Chaparral stallion two barrier trials at Randwick in preparation for his return to the race track for a fourth over 836m on August 10 followed by a third over 1250m on August 21.
In early Cox Plate markets, Ladbrokes.com.au have Contributer as the equal $10 favourite with English galloper Arod just ahead of Aidan O’Brien’s rising star Highland Reel at $12 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion.