Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon has revealed that the connections of Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Dan Excel and runner-up Smoking Sun are considering a tilt at the 2014 Cox Plate.
Leading Australian jockey Tommy Berry piloted Dan Excel to his second victory at Group 1 level in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International (2000m) at Kranji on Sunday and Jordon told Racing Victoria that owner David Phillip Boehm was considering a tilt at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) for the Shamardal gelding during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“Being an Australian, David (Philip Boehm) is very interested in bringing the horse to Australia for a race like the Cox Plate,” Jordon said.
“Dan Excel has been a consistent performer in feature weight for age races in Hong Kong and his win last night suggests he’d be extremely competitive in the Cox Plate.
“I’ll continue discussions with David, John (Moore) and the Moonee Valley Racing Club because I’d love to see the horse in Melbourne during the spring.”
Dan Excel started his racing career under the care of Kevin Prendergast in Ireland in 2010, taking out the Group 3 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes (1609m), and moved to Hong Kong in 2012 and has performed consistently at the highest level of racing.
Smoking Sun does not have as impressive a racing record as Dan Excel, but stamped himself as a horse to watch with his strong performance behind the two-time Group 1 winner on Sunday.
The son of Smart Smoke has form around French superstar Cirrus Des Aigles and Kris Lees-trained Slow Pace and scored his maiden win at Group level with a victory in the Prix d’Hardcourt at Longchamps on April 6 before making his Group 1 debut with a credible fourth behind Cirrues Des Aigles, Treve and Norse King in the Prix Ganay at the same venue on April 27.
Jordon believes that Smoking Sun has the ability to be competitive in the Cox Plate and said that he will remain in discussions with the connections of the Pascal Bary-trained entire.
“I’ve also spoken with connections of last night’s runner-up, Smoking Sun, and they expressed a desire to continue travelling their horse this year,” Jordon said.
“Last night was only the second time Smoking Sun has contested a Group 1 race and his performance, as well as his previous form in France, gives me confidence that he would measure up in the Cox Plate.”
Sacred Falls ($7.50) is currently on top of 2014 Cox Plate betting markets from Carlton House ($9), Royal Descent ($13) and Toydini ($15).