Darley Australia’s number one rider Kerrin McEvoy will be on a strict diet for the next week and a half after trainer Peter Snowden confirmed that Caulfield Guineas winner Long John will take on the top weight for age stars in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
McEvoy’s riding weight is listed at 52kgs with his lightest ride today at Caulfield on Thousand Guineas day is 54kgs.
Snowden received the go ahead from Darley supremo Sheikh Mohammed from Dubai for Long John to take his place in the Cox Plate in which he will carry 49.5kgs under the weight for age scale.
“Sheikh Mohammed is happy to run Long John in the Cox Plate,” Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
Snowden is pleased with the way Long John has pulled up after winning the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last Saturday and is willing to take on the older horses at Moonee Valley.
“The horse has pulled up so well after the Caulfield Guineas that we feel it is worth the gamble of asking the three-year-old to take on the nation’s best gallopers including Atlantic Jewel, It’s A Dundeel, Fiorente and Puissance De Lune,” Snowden said.
McEvoy gave the Street Cry three year old the perfect run in the Caulfield Guineas and after traveling in fifth spot on the fence, worked Long John into the clear on the home turn.
McEvoy then quickly put a three length gap in the field and then was able to hold off the strong challenge from Divine Calling to score by a clear cut margin of half a length.
The top jockey has five rides at Caulfield today with his main mission being the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Snowden’s Group 1 winning filly Guelph.
Guelph will start a very short priced favourite for the Thousand Guineas and is currently marked at $1.35 after coming off a win in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 5.
The last three year old to win the Cox Plate was the mighty So You Think in 2009 and Long John will have to emulate the great Red Anchor who won the Caulfield Guineas – Cox Plate double way back in the 1984.
Last year four times Group 1 winner All Too Hard looked like he was going to complete the double when he dashed to the front at the top of the short Moonee Valley straight but was run down by the tough New Zealand weight for age star Ocean Park.
Long John has been marked a $10 chance in the Cox Plate market order which has Mark Kavanagh’s glamour mare Atlantic Jewel the $2.30 favourite.
Fiorente from the Gai Waterhouse stable is second in the betting at $5 with last start Group 1 Turnbull Stakes winner It’s A Dundeel at $6 and Puissance De Lune at $9.