It’s a track that can catch out plenty of Melbourne horses let alone those coming from further afield but for Jimmy Choux it’s all systems go at Moonee Valley ahead of the Cox Plate.
John Bary admits he was nervous before setting foot at the track, he’s heard all the stories about horses that just didn’t handle it and he couldn’t help but fear his charger might be the same.
He sought advice from kiwi’s that have done it before, the likes of Steve McKee, John Wheeler and Dave O’Sullivan to try and ease his concerns.
In the end though it was all for nothing, Jimmy Choux is at home in Moonee Valley.
Sure he never broke out of a mild gallop and was working solo but it’s so far so good ahead of some more intense work later in the week.
“He just came to have a look around this morning,” Bary said.
“He’ll be back to gallop with Rekindled Interest here next Tuesday and I want him to have a really good hitout then.”
From what he’s seen so far though Bary is hoping the tight turning track might be more of a help than a hindrance.
“He was a pro around the track today. He’s a very balanced horse … I think this track is made for him,” he said.
The public will have a chance to see if that’s true next Tuesday with Bary defying the trend and saying he welcomes the ‘breakfast at the valley’ Cox Plate function.
“He likes it, I’m quite keen to bring him here with the crowd and all the cameras. It might fire him up a bit,” he said.
In terms of the race itself he says he’s wary of Helmet after his hugely impressive Caulfield Guineas win but at the same time it will have no impact on how they attack the race.
“He was certainly impressive and he has that light weight, but we won’t be changing our tactics,” he said.
“There should still be good pace with Glass Harmonium, Descarado and Helmet in the race.”
The Jimmy Choux team has been bullish about the prospects of their horse ever since his first up run at Hastings back in August.
They said after that he wouldn’t be beaten again up to and including the Cox Plate and they’ve been right for the first two.
“The racing isn’t taking as much out of him this preparation,” Bary said.
“He’s really come back well and when he beat (King) Mufhasa last time, he really got quite arrogant.
“I’m really happy with him. He’s got no chinks in his armour.”