Three times Group 1 winner Foreteller has emerged as the forgotten runner in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Foreteller is the longest priced runner of Chris Waller’s three Cox Plate contestants but the premier trainer has by no means dismissed the chances of the eight year old Dansili gelding.
Bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au have Foreteller marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $34 while stablemates Sacred Falls ($7.50) and Royal Descent ($11) are well in commission for the ‘Weight-For-Age Championship of Australasia’.
While he missed a place last start when eighth to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11, Foreteller scored his third Group 1 win at his previous start beating Cox Plate rival Happy Trails in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20.
“He didn’t figure in the finish last start, but I think that run in the Caulfield Stakes was a slightly different run race to what he likes,” Waller told TVN.
“He ran fourth in the Cox Plate and only two starts ago in the Underwood won a Group 1 over 1800 metres.
“He has the form and he will be there in a pressure race.”
And three runs back Foreteller made up plenty of ground in the straight to be beaten just over a length when third to The Cleaner in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
Foreteller is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of a Cox Plate and showed that he wasn’t far off the mark with a strong finishing fourth last year to the three year old Shamus Award.
The tough weight for age performer’s other two Group 1 victories were the 2013 Group 1 $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and the Group 1 $350,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival.
He has also been placed on several occasions at Group 1 level, including a third to Fiorente in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Waller’s Melbourne foreperson Justine Hales can’t fault the condition of Foreteller and was pleased with his hit out at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning at the ‘Breakfast With The Best’.
“He really enjoyed his gallop around, he worked really well, and he was bright in the afternoon,” Hales said.
Foreteller has drawn the inside barrier and will be ridden by Tommy Berry, taking over from Glen Boss who has been aboard at his last three starts.
Last start Caulfield Stakes winner Fawkner is the $4.60 favourite for the Cox Plate ahead of the Irish galloper Adelaide at $6.50 and the David Payne trained Criterion who is also well in contention at $7.00 following his first class effort when second to Fawkner at Caulfield.
The consistent Royal Descent is at $11 just ahead of last year’s Cox Plate runner up Happy Trails at $12, super Kiwi mare Silent Achiever at $14 and The Cleaner at $15.