We reported yesterday the battle that faced Efficient to squeeze his way into the 2011 Cox Plate field but the gamble has paid off and he will be a starter come this Saturday at Moonee Valley.
None would be more pleased than owner Lloyd Williams, except maybe the small group of big betting punters that took him to win a fortune earlier in the week.
For them it’s a huge relief and potentially a highly rewarding one as Efficient flows in from triple figures to now sit around the $20 to $30 mark depending where you go.
His inclusion has certainly caused a fair deal of controversy with some saying it should never have been in doubt and others claiming it shouldn’t have even been considered.
Efficient has raced just twice since winning the 2009 Turnbull Stakes.
First up he was 10th in the Underwood Stakes and he only beat four home again when 8th in the Turnbull Stakes.
Chairman of the Moonee Valley Race Club Bob Scarborough has defended the decision to include the eight year old at the expense of either Avienus of Yosei which are first and second emergencies.
“We felt he should be given his opportunity,” Scarborough said.
“Yosei’s current form is not as good as some of the others.”
Plenty may argue that given Yosei won at Group 1 in the Tatt’s Tiara as recently as June this year.
Her runs so far this spring have all been at shorter trips as she builds towards her ideal distance.
For Avienus the argument is even more compelling as she finished second to Descarado last start in the Caulfield Stakes.
The other borderline horses joining Efficient in the 14 horse Cox Plate field were far less contentious with Wall Street and Pinker Pinker both earning starts.
The controversy will of course all dissipate if Efficient can win or even place in the Cox Plate this weekend but should he tail off towards the back you can guarantee the Moonee Valley Race Club will be fielding a few tough questions come Saturday afternoon.