Global racing expert Francesca Cumani has Adelaide on top of her 2014 Cox Plate tips and believes that the talented entire is the pick of the three European chances in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Adelaide has only had seven race starts, but has already raced right around the well and was more than competitive in quality races like the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot, the Group 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (2011m) and Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2011m) in the United States and the Group 2 Prix Niel (2400m) in France.
Cumani told Racing Ahead this morning that she has been impressed with the form of Adelaide this preparation and said that the Galileo entire was most impressive when third in the Prix Niel.
“He is the most exciting of the internationals,” Cumani said.
“He is young, still relatively unexposed and well performed already.
“He has had a pretty busy year; he has won in four different countries, been to America twice and last ran in France and he has been very consistent.
“His run in the Prix Niel was so impressive; he got completely boxed in, had nowhere to go, but when he got a bit of daylight he absolutely flew.”
While Cumani has been impressed with the form of Adelaide, she admits that there are a few question marks over the Northern Hemisphere three-year-old heading into the Cox Plate (2040m) this weekend.
Adelaide will be having his first look at the tricky Moonee Valley circuit, which has brought about the undoing of a number of Cox Plate contenders, while she always believes he will need plenty of luck in running.
“There are a few queries,” Cumani said.
“It will be the first time that he is seeing Moonee Valley and a track like that, the barrier isn’t really ideal in 13 and what I can’t completely understand is why he has to carry so much weight.
“He has 56 kilograms as opposed to the Australian three-year-olds that have 49 and a half.
“He has run on tight-turning tracks, but I think that Moonee Valley is a bit of a law onto itself and it has got that incredibly short straight and you do need a lot of luck in running.
“From barrier 13 I would like to see him track across maybe just behind The Cleaner and sit maybe third or fourth.”
Side Glance has been included in the Cox Plate field for the second year in a row and he will be having his second race start in Australia this preparation after finishing third in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 11.
Cumani said that Side Glance is a consistent galloper who never runs a bad race, but she is unsure whether the Passing Glance gelding is good enough to win the Cox Plate.
“I think that he is a great horse and he is super consistent,” Cumani said.
“You can always rely on him to run a really good race and like we saw in the Caulfield Stakes he went to the front and was incredibly tough.
“I think that we will probably see a good performance from him, but I think he will need a bit of luck in running.
“I can see him being thereabouts, but probably lacking the class to win.”
Guest Of Honour is an extreme outsider in Cox Plate betting markets at odds of $41, but he recorded two wins in Europe this preparation including the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1609m) during 2014 Royal Ascot meeting.
The Cape Cross entire worked home fairly when ninth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 and Cumani believes that he would need to improve significantly to be any chance in the Cox Plate.
“He hasn’t never run over that distance,” Cumani said.
“In the Toorak Handicap he got quiet far back and had the top weight, but I thought he ran on alright.
“He is going to need to lift his game and prove that the 2000 metres is suitable.”
Adelaide is available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $6.50 and has been the best backed European runner in the betting market for the Group 1 event with Ladbrokes.