A clash with the world’s best racehorse Winx has all been ruled out for Scales Of Justice with the star Perth galloper to instead target a race like the Toorak Handicap over the Cox Plate.
Earlier connections of the Lindsey Smith-trained four-year-old were talking of a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October against the race’s dual defending champion Winx.
Scales Of Justice posted his ninth career win over the weekend and his second on the trot as the odds-on favourite at Belmont Racecourse in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m).
Having his first test over further than the 1800m that he ran a devastatingly close second behind Stratum Star over in last December’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot, the son of Not A Single Doubt saluted for the punters in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m).
It followed his runaway three length weight-for-age win in the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at the track when beating home the same horse that ran second again in the Strickland, Zarantz.
A trip east this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is now firmly on the cards for the $1.35 million earner who is best known for his $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) win in November last year.
Smith has Perth Summer Racing Carnival plans later in the year to target the same two races in 2017 with a Railway Stakes title defence on November 25 and second shot at the Kingston Town Classic on December 9.
Scales Of Justice though is likely to be seen earlier racing in Victoria in the lead-up, just not in the Cox Plate field.
Instead the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) over the mile at Caulfield on Guineas Day in early October is the preferred option, followed by a possible Melbourne Cup Carnival run at Flemington in the $2 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m).
“He’ll have about five weeks off now and we’ll look at taking him to Melbourne,” managing owner Chris Wells told The West Australian.
“The Toorak would be good for him and maybe the Emirates, especially if Winx doesn’t go that way.
“Ideally we would go over for two or three races and then come back for the Kingston Town.
“We’ll see what weight he gets in the Railway. Good Project came back last year after winning the Railway and got 55kg.”
Wells was pleased with the post-race reports of jockey Douglas Whyte from last summer and how the horse handled the 2000m in the Strickland despite his narrow short half-head winning margin, but conceded a mile and a half was beyond Scales Of Justice.
“Douglas Whyte said he’s an incredible miler,” Wells said.
“I think he’ll get 2000. I thought he might be a Caulfield Cup horse, but that [the 2400m] looks a bit beyond him.”
Scales Of Justice is still listed as a $34 pre-nomination hope in futures Cox Plate betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
Chris Waller’s heroic mare Winx remains odds-on in those early markets at $1.50 to join Kingston Town as the only other triple Cox Plate winner in history.