French import Pornichet will begin his Cox Plate countdown in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22.
Pornichet was sent for a short break following his runaway win in the Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 9 during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse announced today that Pornichet was ready to return to the racetrack in a fortnight before heading to Melbourne for his main Spring Carnival goal, the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
“Doomben Cup winner Pornichet is working stronger than ever. He will start his Cox Plate preparation in the Warwick Stakes on the 22nd of August over 1400m,” Waterhouse wrote on her website.
Waterhouse has given Pornichet two Randwick barrier trials to tighten him up for his return and the five year old continues to please the stable on the track.
Jockey Danny Beasley has been riding work for Waterhouse and has given her some glowing reports on Pornichet’s early morning workouts.
“‘A very good horse’ is what Danny said about Pornichet this morning,” Waterhouse said.
“This is high praise from a man who has ridden the likes of Desert War and Grand Armee just to name two. Pornichet cruised over 1400m coming home his last 200m in 12.1 seconds and was easily Danny’s best of the morning.”
Waterhouse had always talked up the ability of Pornichet from the moment she acquired him in France and once he arrived in Australia the First Lady Of The Turf started to developed him into one of the top weight for age gallopers in the country.
Pornichet’s first win on Australian soil was in the Group 3 $150,000 Mack Tow Sandown Stakes (1500m) at Sandown on November 15 at the end of the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Then a win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Sunday Telegraph Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 followed by a fifth to Kermadec in the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 6 convinced Waterhouse to head to Queensland.
Unable to gain a start in a suitable lead up race for the Doomben Cup, Waterhouse was forced to head up the range to Toowoomba when the flashy stallion proved too strong for the locals with a convincing in in the $100,000 XXXX Gold Toowoomba Cup (2150m) on May 2.
Backing up in a week proved no problem and Pornichet went to another level and was in a class of his own when he streaked away from his opposition in the Doomben Cup.
Pornichet is well up in the Cox Plate market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $15 along with Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec.
English galloper Arod heads the betting at $9 ahead of Sydney Autumn Carnival weight for age star Contributer at $10, Queens Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion at $12 and Godolphin’s English import Hartnell at $14.