A meeting will be held today to determine whether or not More Joyous will contest this year’s $3 million Cox Plate in October.
The five-year-old mare, who finished fifth in last year’s race behind So You Think, had initially been ruled out of much of the spring racing carnival due to a serious tendon injury.
However, the mare has made a speedy recovery and owner John Singleton is now considering running her in Australia’s biggest weight-for-age championship.
”She was only a 10 per cent chance of racing in the spring, the tendon was that bad,” Singleton said.
”She was boxed at my property for six weeks, boxed in a tiny yard for six weeks.
“She went to Gai with a light, three-race preparation in mind.”
More Joyous proved she had fully recovered when she put in an impressive performance in her barrier trial last week.
”She trialled superbly at Randwick last Friday,” Singleton said.
“Gai (Waterhouse), Nash (Rawiller) and (veterinarian) John Peatfield are very happy.
”He (Peatfield) is now saying she is 100 per cent, and there is more chance now of her racing in the spring than next year when she’ll be a six-year-old.
”If we can include another Cox Plate this spring without hurting her, good, if not good, she can have a light spring.”
Singleton will meet with Waterhouse, Rawiller, Peatfield and his racing manager Duncan Grimley later today as they attempt to make a decision about More Joyous’ upcoming campaign.
“If the four geniuses advise the sucker owner to go that way, she will,” Singleton said.
”If it is two-all, I might have to cast the deciding vote.
“Prize money for the Myer Stakes is $500,000, the Cox Plate $3 million.”
The owner believes that More Joyous’ fifth place finish last year occurred due to their underestimation of winner So You Think.
“The tactics in the Cox Plate were wrong,” Singleton said.
”We thought we would turn her on before the bend, put a space on that thing, So You Think.
“We underestimated how good So You Think was, and if we had ridden her more conservative, she would have run second.”
With More Joyous already behind in her spring preparation, trainer Gai Waterhouse will need to map out a new program for the More Than Ready mare.
”We are about a month behind the eight ball and Gai will have to work out how to get there (Cox Plate),” Singleton said.
”She might have to back-up somewhere.
“But on exposed form, forget three-year-olds; we don’t know how they’ve come back from their two-year-old season.
“The Cox Plate is a two-horse race, Whobegotyou and More Joyous.”
More Joyous has won 14 of her 19 race starts and has accrued almost $2.2 million in prize money during her impressive career.