The 2013 Cox Plate field will feature a maiden galloper; with Shamus Award a confirmed started following the withdrawal of Atlantic Jewel.
The connections of Shamus Award made a late decision to enter the three-year-old for the Cox Plate yesterday morning, with rumors about a possible problem with Atlantic Jewel circulating, but the son of Snitzel was no certainty to earn a start after Chris Waller also made the late decision to accept with Foreteller.
The withdrawal of Atlantic Jewel means that Shamus Award will have the opportunity to make history and record his first ever race win in the Cox Plate after finishing an unlucky second in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) and third behind Long John in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Jockey Chad Schofield picked up the final ride available in the 2013 Cox Plate field and told TVN that he is extremely excited to be making his debut in one of Australia’s premier races.
“I found out early this morning that I would maybe be riding but then Chris Waller accepted last minute and I thought oh maybe not but now with the mare coming out it looks like I will get my opportunity,” Schofield said yesterday.
“I am very excited; he has got a beautiful barrier, no weight on his back so who knows.
“I certainly didn’t think my opportunity would come this soon, one thing is for sure I just can’t wait to get out in front of that crowd and ride in the prestigious race.
“Obviously it is a big thing to get a ride in a race like the Cox Plate and I am really looking forward to it.”
Shamus Award will carry just 49.5kg in the Cox Plate field but Schofield is one of the few jockeys who doesn’t have to worry about making such a light weight – unlike Kerrin McEvoy who has been desperately cutting weight in order to ride Caulfield Guineas winner Long John on Saturday.
“I walk around about 49.5kg anyway so I won’t even have to sweat,” Schofield said.
Shamus Award will join equine superstars like So You Think (2009), Savabeel (2004), Octagonal (1995), Red Anchor (1884), Surround (1976), Taj Rossi (1973) and Manfred (1925) as horses that have won the Cox Plate as three-year-olds if he is successful on Saturday.