Lightweight jockey Dean Yendall has come up with a unique plan to take on super star Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley today.
Yendall rides Royal Symphony who only has to carry 49.5kg and trainer Tony McEvoy said, with tongue in cheek, that the jock had a secret plan up his sleeve.
“Dean said that as soon as the gates open he will grab onto Winx’s tail and not let go,” McEvoy told racing.com.
“I think she is the best horse that I have seen and it will be a pleasure if we can run second to her.”
Royal Symphony is coming off an unlucky last start fourth to the bolter Mighty Boss in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14 but McEvoy is willing to take on the mighty mare on at weight for age today.
Dwayne Dunn settled Royal Symphony in the second half of the field in the Caulfield Guineas but McEvoy has informed Racing Victoria stewards that the colt will be ridden more forward if he begins well from a wide barrier.
The stewards tweeted the following statement indicating Royal Symphony’s change of tactics.
“Change of Tactics: 28-10-2017 Moonee Valley R9 – No.9 Royal Symphony – if begins well, rider given option to race closer.”
Royal Symphony has had some support in the betting for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, firming from $21 to $15 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Winx remains the dominant favourite at $1.16.
Trainer Chris Waller said this morning that Winx was in tip top condition to tackle her Spring Carnival Grand Final and create history by equalling Kingston Town’s record of three consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victories.
“Everything has just gone to plan and that makes everybody’s job a lot easier and Winx is a little bit different. She is not a horse we worry about track conditions and even barrier draws rally,” Waller told Sky Racing HQ Saturday.
“It’s just about safety and making sure you get a little bit of luck in racing which you always need.”
“The horse is ready to go. Today being the Grand Final. Who knows if she will run again after today in this preparation. We will make that decision well after today.”
“Everything has been geared up towards today run.”
Winx is lining up for her twenty-second straight win and a third consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victory after demolishing her rivals in the 2015 and 2016 runnings of ‘The Weight For Age Championship’.
The glamour mare has strung together twenty-one consecutive wins, her last two at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 and in the $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.