Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon has confirmed that John Moore-trained Dan Excel will enter quarantine in Hong Kong on Thursday before flying out to Australia to begin preparations for the 2014 Cox Plate.
Moore revealed last month that he was looking into bringing Dan Excel to Australia several months before the running of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and basing the Singapore International Cup winner at his brother Gary Moore’s new base at Rosehill Gardens.
Jordon revealed that all the logistics for Dan Excel’s trip to Australia had been sorted out and was delighted that an international runner for the Cox Plate had been secured just a day after the international invitations for the Group 1 event were sent out to some of the most talented weight-for-age horses in the world.
“He’ll kick off training at Rosehill before he gets transferred down here to Melbourne to run in a couple of lead-up races, although the stable haven’t decided which ones they are just yet,” Jordon told Racing Victoria.
“So him going into quarantine suggests, barring injury in the lead-up, he’s a definite, which is great.
“It’s good to be able to lock one away as early as this.”
Dan Excel made his racing debut back in 2010 in Ireland under the care of Ireland and he performed fairly at Group 1 level, finishing fourth behind So You Think in the 2011 Irish Champion Stakes, before joining the stable of Moore in Hong Kong.
The Shamardal gelding was far from disgraced as a three-year-old at Group 1 level in Hong Kong, finishing fifth in the 2012 Hong Kong Derby (2000m), and finished second in the Group 1 Stewards Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin in 2013 before breaking through for a well-deserved Group 1 victory in The Champions Mile (1600m) on May 5 last year.
Dan Excel went on to finish second behind Military Attack in the 2013 Singapore International Cup and after narrowly missing out on wins in The Stewards Cup, Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and Group 1 The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) returned to winning form with an impressive win in the Singapore International Cup at Kranji on May 18.
Jordon remains hopeful that Dan Excel will not be the only international runner in the 2014 Cox Plate field and said that further invitations will be sent out following the Royal Ascot Meeting that kicks off next week.