The Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee will decide on Tuesday morning if English galloper Kaspersky will take his place alongside of Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Kaspersky, who is prepared by Newmarket trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, has had one run in Australia for a non-inspiring sixteenth of eighteen after leading in the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Even though the Chris Waller trainer super mare Winx is only going to take on a handful of rivals in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, the committee still has the power to eliminate any runner that they feel is not up to the standard of ‘The Weight For Age Championship’.
Chapple-Hyam admits that Kaspersky’s run in the Toorak Handicap was below par but pointed out that the seven year old has been competitive at Group 1 level in Europe but will now have to wait for the committee’s decision to see if he is included in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate field.
“He ran fifth in the (Group 1) Queen Anne (at Royal Ascot) and he was second in the (Group 2) Summer Mile,” Chapple-Hyam told the Herald Sun.
“He didn’t true his true colours in the Toorak (when 16th), but they might’ve gone a bit quick. He’s settled in fine here at Ballarat and everything is good. I think he can run well at Moonee Valley. We’re just waiting for the two thumbs up.”
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne has been booked to ride Kaspersky in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Winx is lining up for her twenty-second straight win and a third consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victory after demolishing her rivals in the 2015 and 2016 runnings of ‘The Weight For Age Championship’.
The glamour mare has strung together twenty-one consecutive wins, her last two at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 and in the $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.
Winx is marked as the $1.16 favourite for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au while Kaspersky is rated a $101 chance.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.16 Winx, $17 Folkswood, Gailo Chop, Happy Clapper, $21 Royal Symphony, $26 Humidor, $34 Aloisia, Johannes Vermeer, $41 Bonneval, $51 or better the rest.