The Cox Plate form of Super Cool may not look that impressive on paper but, based on the recent history of the race, the four-year-old has every possible chance to give trainer Mark Kavanagh his second victory in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
Kavanagh has kept a low profile this week, following the shock withdrawal of former Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel due to a tendon injury, and could not hide his obvious devastation about the glamour mares’ retirement.
“I am getting used to losing favourites in big races but it doesn’t make it any easier,” Kavanagh wrote in a newspaper column earlier this week.
“Maldivian was favourite in the 2007 Caulfield but was scratched at the barrier and I had the favourite for the 2009 VRC Derby, Shamoline Warrior, who was scratched on the morning of the race.
“I had the favourite four times in the Australian Cup, twice with Maldivian and twice with Shocking, and neither of them got to the post.”
Kavanagh has every right to be disappointed at the loss of Atlantic Jewel but he still has a live chance in Super Cool who based on Cox Plate form will run a lot better than his current odds of $21 would suggest.
Super Cool is yet to record a victory this campaign but has had excuses in each of his races this preparation after resuming with a fast-finishing third in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31.
The Fastnet Rock gelding went into the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) as favourite and was galloped on by another horse but still managed to finish strongly, despite being blocked for a run in the final stages of the race, while he had no luck again three weeks later in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
He had his final Cox Plate hit-out in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and chased home stablemate Atlantic Jewel gamely; doing enough to earn a start in the Cox Plate.
His last start effort in the Caulfield Stakes, which has always been the key lead-up race to the Cox Plate, is one of many historical factors that Super Cool has in his favor tomorrow.
Four-year-olds have an excellent record in the Cox Plate and, along with It’s A Dundeel, Super Cool is the only four-year-old in the field while he has also been victorious over the Cox Plate distance at Moonee Valley; upsetting It’s A Dundeel in the Group 2 AAMI Vase (2040m) last year.
Super Cool has the key Cox Plate form guide element of being successful at Group 1 weight-for-age level, after winning the Australian Cup (2000m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, and Kavanagh is the only trainer in this year’s field that has previously been victorious in the race.
If Super Cool is successful tomorrow he will be the first horse to complete the Australian Cup/Cox Plate double since champion mare Makybe Diva in 2005.