Jim Conlan is confident of Rekindled Interest’s chances going into tomorrow’s $3 million Cox Plate following his impressive track work gallop at Moonee Valley earlier this week.
Staying true to his name, the horse’s obvious defeat of well backed Cox Plate contender Jimmy Choux on Tuesday has rekindled the public’s interest in the four-year-old.
Conlan said the run was exactly what he needed to see going into the weight-for-age championship.
“It was exactly what I was after,” Conlan said.
“I discussed with (Jimmy Choux’s trainer) John Bary (that) we were going to go out for 1200 (metres) even and hone in the last 600 metres of the gallop.
“At the 600 (metre mark) Rekindled Interest and Jimmy Choux joined the pacemaker.
“And Jimmy Choux for whatever reason didn’t work that well.”
Conlan warned the public not to disregard Jimmy Choux based on that one unfavourable performance.
“Jimmy Choux’s a much better horse than we saw in that gallop,” he said.
The trainer will add blinkers to Rekindled Interest’s race gear for tomorrow’s Cox Plate.
“I planned the whole time I would save them for this race,” Conlan said.
“He has a bit of lag time between when you ask him to go and when he steps up the gears.”
The Redoute’s Choice gelding finished a gallant fifth in the Turnbull Stakes last start, despite not being fully fit.
“I was very happy with that,” Conlan said.
“If I had have cranked him up for that race and had him like I had him now… he would be looking for 2,400 metres now (instead of the Cox Plate’s 2,040 metres).
“So he peaked on his run at the 100 metre mark.
“I expected that.
“If I went to the races tomorrow with him at that level we would get beat but we’re going in with a new level of fitness.”
Rekindled Interest will have to battle against favourite and likely leader Helmet, who is the only three-year-old in the race.
“There has to be some question marks with Helmet,” Conlan said.
“(But) you’ve got Peter Snowden training it who would not let that horse go to the races unless he thought he had a cracking chance.
“I’m very happy with my horse and that’s all you can worry about.”
Conlan does not believe the scratching of Descarado will cause too many problems for Rekindled Interest in tomorrow’s race.
“There’ll be enough pace even without Descarado in the race, there always is in a Cox Plate,” he said.
“I want for the first 70% of that race tomorrow to be as easy as possible for him.
“The idea would be that by the time we get the bottom of the straight we’re in striking range.
“If that’s the case then he loves that track (and) he’ll put himself in the finish.”
Rekindled Interest is expected to jump from barrier three in the Cox Plate and will be ridden by regular jockey Dwayne Dunn.