Pornichet is now out to 2015 Cox Plate odds of $41, but trainer Gai Waterhouse remains optimistic that the Group 1 winner can return to his best form in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Pornichet stamped himself as a genuine Cox Plate contender when he recorded a dominant four lengths win in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane on May 9 and he spent several months as one of the best-backed chances in Cox Plate betting.
The Vespone entire started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a very promising second place finish in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 and he was far from disgraced when sixth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and third in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 19.
Pornichet was tipped to go to another level when he stepped up to 2000 metres for the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10, but he was one of the first horses beaten and he finished at the tail of the field.
The Cox Plate odds of Pornichet instantly drifted and he has been $31 out to $41 during the week, but Waterhouse believes that punters have overreacted to one below par performance and she is adamant that the five-year-old remains a legitimate Cox Plate contender.
“Pornichet might be on the drift after a poor run in the Caulfield Stakes, but this seems slightly unfounded considering this was the entire’s only average run since he arrived in Australia,” Waterhouse said.
“On Tuesday morning, Pornichet scooted around Moonee Valley and on Saturday, just behind the Tasmania Tiger (The Cleaner), Pornichet will be balanced, happy and I think he can power to the line.
“This is the race he has been set for and I have always been very big on having a horse in perfect order heading into its Grand Final.”
Waterhouse is chasing her first win in the Cox Plate after previously finishing second with Manhattan Rain (2009) and Lotteria (2005) and third with Fiorente (2013), Pierro (2012) and All Our Mob (1996).
Pornichet is now the extreme outsider of the 2015 Cox Plate betting market with Ladbrokes, while Highland Reel ($5) remains a clear favourite from Winx ($6.50), Criterion ($6.50), Kermadec ($8) and Arod ($8.50).
You can score the best Cox Plate odds for Pornichet or any other runner in the Cox Plate field with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.