The 2013 Cox Plate field position of leading contender Fiorente is yet to be decided; with trainer Gai Waterhouse revealing this morning that she is still tossing up between a number of potential tactics for the imported stayer.
Fiorente has come from the back of the field in each of his three starts this preparation, in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), but Waterhouse had indicated she would like to see the five-year-old ridden closer to the pace.
Waterhouse told Racing Ahead that she still has 24 hours to decide on where she would like to see Fiorente positioned in the Cox Plate field and will be waiting until she analysed how the track is playing before making a decision.
“I’m just going to have a little think about that over the next 24 hours,” Waterhouse said.
“I don’t have to decide that now and I will also see how the races are panning out.
“The thing is that there is going to be a bit of deadwood in the races, with horses that can’t win the race, and there is a small number that can win the race.”
Fiorente has had a trouble free preparation on the track but there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding who will ride the son of Monsun in the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
Earlier in the spring Nash Rawiller said that he would follow Fiorente wherever he raced this preparation but after the Turnbull Stakes was replaced on the Melbourne Cup favourite by Damien Oliver.
Oliver’s suspension at Caulfield last Wednesday, which will see him miss the Cox Plate meeting tomorrow, threw another spanner in the works and, after much speculation, Blake Shinn was awarded the ride.
Waterhouse said she has always had a high opinion of Shinn and is confident that he will give Fiorente an excellent ride when he takes his place in the Cox Plate field at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
“Damien Oliver rode him yesterday in his final gallop and he said he just felt fabulous and he wishes he was on him,” Waterhouse said.
“Blake is a most accomplished jockey and five or six years ago I brought him from Melbourne and he had a fantastic career rise.
“He is a sharp young chap and I think that he will suit the horse right down to the ground.”
Fiorente will be Watherhouse’s 18th ever runner in the Cox Plate and she is still searching for her maiden win in the race.