Trainer Chris Waller has Kermadec on top of his Cox Plate tips, but he does not believe that there is a great deal between his three runners in the Group 1 event that will be held at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Kermadec was set for the Cox Plate after he took out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at the end of his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and he is the only one of Waller’s runner that has remained on the same path through this preparation.
Waller remains confident that both Winx and Preferment are capable of winning the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but he believes that it is Kermadec who has the best chance to deliver him the biggest win of his training career to date.
“I would have to say Kermadec,” Waller said.
“He is the benchmark.
“Preferment can win if it is a really strong Cox Plate, which it probably will be with The Cleaner in there.
“Winx is just the wow horse, Hugh Bowman said that she might be a freak and we don’t know how high she is going to do.
“We will see what happens on Saturday.”
Kermadec started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with promising runs in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before he scored an impressive win in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), but he was slightly disappointing when fourth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Waller believes there were a number of factors that went against Kermadec in the Caulfield Stakes and he is confident that the Teofilo entire has taken plenty of improvement from his first run at 2000 metres ahead of the 2015 Cox Plate.
“In my eyes it was more the way the race was run,” Waller said.
“We took him back from a wide gate and to some degree it gave him no chance.
“You have to respect weight-for-age horses and while we certainly do that, we couldn’t mathematically beat them from where they were at the 600.
“He has tightened up as well and he is going to go into the Cox Plate as a fitter horse.
“Criterion deservedly won the race and he shot away and I was disappointed to see Mongolian Khan come up on our inside, but his form has been franked on Saturday.
“Although he has won a couple of tough Randwick miles, 2000 metres is different and it calls on a fitter horse.
“There were a few small factors, the track was quite firm and there is a bit more give here.”
Kermadec is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $8 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fourth line of betting behind Highland Reel ($5), Criterion ($6) and Winx ($7.50).
Don’t miss out on the 2015 Cox Plate special that is available with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single runner in every single race this Saturday!