Cox Plate Could Be The Target For Royal Staying Talent

By: Thomas Hackett
July 12th, 2013

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival target of exciting stayer Royal Descent is up in the air with connections indicating that the Australian Oaks winner was a chance to contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).

The Cox Plate and Caufield Cup are both on the agenda for Royal Descent. Photo by: Steve Hart

The 2013 Caulfield Cup (2400m) was expected to be the goal for the Redoute’s Choice filly but owner Gerry Harvey’s Racing Manager Claire Bird indicated that the Cox Plate was on the cards if Royal Descent can measure up at weight-for-age-level.

The rising four-year-old began her Spring Racing Carnival preparations in May and is expected to start her campaign in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Warwick Farm at the end of August.

“I think at this stage she’ll probably have two of three runs in Sydney before she comes down to Melbourne,” Bird told Racing Victoria.

“If she was going well enough and she measured up in Melbourne she could head towards either the Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate.

“It hasn’t been decided as yet as to which is her main target.”

Bird said that trainer Chris Waller was doing all he can to strengthen the skinny filly for the tough Group races she is set to contest in the spring.

“Chris is doing a bit of dressage work with her to help strengthen up her hindquarters and he is really happy with her progress,” Bird said.

“She’s never going to be a really big strong filly, she just hasn’t got that kind of build but she’s put on weight and she’s strengthened a bit.”

Royal Descent, who was unraced as a two-year-old, was one of the breakout staying stars of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

After working her way through the grades, she scored an impressive victory in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick and returned the following week to win the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in a ten length romp from Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi and Gondokoro who went on to win the Queensland Oaks (2400m) during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

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