Arod has arrived in Australia a picture of health and assistant trainer Gary Hindmarch is confident the talented British raider has all the right form and class to be crowned the 2015 Cox Plate winner at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday.
A standout performer for notable British trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam since first appearing on course competitively in late 2013, Arod booked his ticket to Australia and the Cox Plate off the back of a number of impressive performances against some of the world’s best middle-distances horses this year.
Hindmarch told Racing Ahead the Teofilo entire has completed a number of strong pieces of work at Werribee through the last week and is displaying all the signs he believes are necessary of a Cox Plate winner.
“He’s had a great journey over here, the flight didn’t take anything out of him at all, he’s settled in really well and looks fabulous,” Hindmarch said.
“He’s just been doing gradual track work. Craig (Williams) came over and rode him Saturday, gave him a nice little gallop and came over again on Wednesday.
“In between we’ve been going around the Polytrack here at Werribee doing good, strong mile and a quarter canters. I’m really happy with him.”
Arod ran on for a credible third in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes (1600m) on May 16th this year; progressing to consecutive wins in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes (1713m) and Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1600m) before placing a close second to French superstar Solow in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (1600m) on July 29th.
Hindmarch does not anticipate Arod will have any issues performing on the unique Moonee Valley course this weekend and is confident the horse is positioned for success in the Cox Plate.
“He’s probably the best miler in Europe, Solow, and the ground at Goodwood probably wasn’t as quick as we’d like it because the faster the ground, the better for this horse,” Hindmarch said.
“We got very, very close and it was very pleasing. Going by the form book we should be there with a very good chance tomorrow.
“I went to Moonee Valley on Tuesday and had a look around. He absolutely loves bends, he’s like a motorbike – he absolutely flies around them and he can pinch a couple of lengths going around the turn this horse, he’s so well balanced.
“He’s drawn very, very well. We’ve got The Cleaner inside us which I’m assuming will jump out and go like hell for leather, so if he can slot in behind that we’ll be bang up on the pace and if not, at the front from the start.”
Craig Williams has remained bullish of Arod’s chances of success in the 2015 Cox Plate since being confirmed to take the ride earlier in the Spring Carnival, and the pair will leave from barrier 5 on Saturday.
Arod is currently rated an $8 chance of being crowned 2015 Cox Plate winner on Saturday with leading online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.