Scottish still to qualify for Cox Plate

By: Mark Mazzaglia
July 19th, 2016

Godolphin’s English trainer Charlie Appleby is keen to bring last start Newbury winner Scottish to Melbourne for the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October, but Moonee Valley officials are yet to offer an invitation to the English galloper.

Winx is the short priced favourite to win back to back Cox Plates at Moonee Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Winx is the short priced favourite to win back to back Cox Plates at Moonee Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Scottish scored a one and three quarter lengths win in the Listed £37,000 Steventon Stakes over one mile and two furlongs last Saturday and there are early plans in motion to get the gelding to Melbourne for the 2016 Spring Carnival.

“The plan was always to potentially go down to Australia with him. We will see whether to give him another run beforehand but we want to go down there for the Cox Plate or possibly the Mackinnon Stakes,” Appleby said.

Scottish, who races in the Godolphin royal blue colours, was having his first start since a first up third to Time Test in Group 3 £65,000 Brigadier Gerard Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Sandown Park on May 26 and Appleby wasn’t surprised with the winning performance.

“It was a great performance from Scottish and we came to Newbury very confident. Conditions suited us in terms of ground and trip, and he has come on for his run at Sandown,” Appleby said.

But Moonee Valley Racing Club’s chief executive Michael Browell said that Scottish would have to do a lot more before being offered an invitation to compete in the weight for age Championship of Australasia.

“On the back of his win the other day he would not get an invite to the Cox Plate,” Browell told G1X.

“Let’s see where he goes next. He’s now on the radar, we’ll track him and watch his progress. If he steps up and wins a decent race we will have a look at him.”

The Roger Charlton trained Time Test is among the invitees for the Cox Plate and is in contention to make the trip down under after finishing third on a slow track in the Group 1 £525,000 Coral-Eclipse (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Sandown Park, England, on July 2.

“What’s hurting the horses in the UK is all the wet tracks,” Browell said.

“A horse like Time Test is a horse I’d like to see come out for the Cox Plate, but he’s definitely better on top of the ground.”

Test Time will have his next run in the Group 1 £725,000 Juddmonte International Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs, 88 yards) at York on August 17.

The Chris Waller trainer Winx is marked as the $2.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to win back to back Cox Plates while Scottish has entered the market at $26 with Time Test listed as a $61 chance.

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