Moore targets Cox Plate with Military Attack

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 20th, 2013

Top Hong Kong trainer John Moore has already starting to plan a Cox Plate assault after Military Attack scored a commanding win in the Group 1 S$3m Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Singapore on the weekend.

Hugh Bowman

Hugh Bowman ran 3rd on Mawingo and 2nd on Bel Sprinter in Singapore G1s. Photo by Taron Clarke.

Military Attack who was coming off a win in the Group 1 HK$14m The Audemars Piguet QEII (2000m) at Sha Tin on April 28 and became Moore’s first Group 1 winner outside of his training base in Hong Kong.

The Singapore win has inspired Moore to return to his homeland and try to win a Group 1 race on Australian soil and he thinks Military Attack is the right horse to send for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.

“I would now love to send him to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October in Australia. I know it’s tough with the two weeks (quarantine) at Werribee, but he has shown he could travel,” Moore said.

“And the Cox Plate would be nice as I would love nothing more than to win a Group race in my own country. I’ve actually already discussed with Steven Lo and I believe the organisers will soon send all the paraphernalia to him.”

Moore has already had preliminary talks with owner Steven Lo and the way Military Attack handled the heat and the travelling has given Moore confidence that he is the right horse to take down under.

Moore’s other major target for the five year old would be the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in December and he thinks the two international weight for age races are a possibility.

“It will be a challenge to do both – to take on the Cox Plate and also the Hong Kong Cup in December but it might be manageable. The horse has shown now that he thrives on travel and he’s good fresh so we can train him that way,” Moore said.

“This is a serious horse now, he’s kept progressing and we probably have to keep raising the bar.”

Hong Kong based Australian jockey Zac Purton sat Military Attack just off the pace and after making his move at the 700m, raced away in the straight to score a comfortable three and a quarter lengths win over stalemate Dan Excel.

Purton knew that Military Attack was primed to run a mighty race but was very surprised with the ease of the win.

“I expected him to go close but of course I was surprised that he was able to blow them away like that,” said Purton.

“They said it was the strongest race they have ever been able to assemble and it is scary to think how much he has improved in the last three or four months.”

2012 Doomben Cup winner Mawingo showed his liking for the conditions and ran home to finish third pleasing jockey Hugh Bowman who had ridden Australian sprinter Bel Sprinter into second place behind Lucky Nine in the previous race, the Group 1 S$1m Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m).

“He’s run one hell of a race. He did have a dream run and couldn’t match the winner but he was just pipped for second. He ran very well,” said Bowman.

“I’ve only ridden him a couple of times and that was by far his best run under me and probably his best since last year’s Doomben Cup.”

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