Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh revealed this morning that the 2014 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 25 still remains an option for Spring Champion Stakes placegetter Sweynesse.
Walsh indicated last week that Sweynesse would need to win the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 to gain a start in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but the Lonhro colt now looks as though he would be able to earn a start in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship after a number of horses were ruled out of contention on Saturday.
The Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day looms as the other option for Sweynesse and Walsh told Racing Ahead that trainer John O’Shea was keen to give the three-year-old an opportunity in Melbourne.
“We will just see how he goes in the next couple of days,” Walsh said.
“John is really keen to bring him to Melbourne and give him a look around the Valley.
“Whether that is in the Vase or the Cox Plate is still there for consideration because the field has fallen away over the weekend.
“If he does well in the next couple of days he will look to come to Melbourne and it will be good to get him another run going down there.”
The Spring Champion Stakes was expected to be a battle between Sweynesse and First Seal, but Gai Waterhouse-trained Hampton Court finished over the top of the duo to score an upset win.
Sweynesse looked to tire in the concluding stages of the Spring Champion Stakes after he was asked for an extra effort by jockey Blake Shinn from the 700 metre mark, but Walsh said that the entire Godolphin team were happy with the effort of the previously undefeated colt.
“We were very pleased with him,” Walsh said.
“Obviously to run third in a Group 1 is a good effort.
“I think he probably showed us that he didn’t quiet stay a mile and a quarter, certainly under the conditions and the way that race was run.
“It was record time and he had First Seal coming back in his face at the 700.
“Blake made what we thought was the right decision at the time to get out around her and make it a true staying test, but perhaps that played against us.
“I couldn’t fault his endeavor and he is a really nice colt for us going forward.”
Sweynesse is currently available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $41 with Ladbrokes Australia.