Craig Williams believes that Arod’s Cox Plate lead-up form is the equal of any horse in the field and he is adamant that the English galloper is the best horse that he has ever ridden in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
Williams won the Cox Plate in 2006 on the old marvel Fields Of Omagh and he gave Pinker Pinker a peach of a ride to steal the race in 2011, but he believes that Arod is on another level after he took out the Diomed Stakes (1710m) and the Summer Mile (1609m) before he finished a gallant second behind the gifted Solow in the Sussex Stakes (1609m).
“I love his form coming over from Europe,” Williams told the media at the Werribee International Equine Centre this morning.
“On form he is better than any of the horses that I have ridden.
“Pinker Pinker was awesome on the day and we got luck, but she was a different horse and Fields Of Omagh was like a fairytale story, but on form I am delighted to have a horse with Arod’s credentials going into this year’s race.”
Arod completed his final serious piece of track work ahead of the Cox Plate at Werribee this morning and he worked strongly over 1400 metres to run out his final 600 metres in just over 36 seconds.
Williams admits that Arod is not the sharpest track worker in the world, but he said that he was still very happy he received from the son of Teofilo and he believes that the five-year-old has improved noticeably since last week.
“I was able to ride him last week and get a comparison for him this week,” Williams said.
“The horse is healthy and really well, but he is not going to break clocks.
“He is quite lazy in his work and in himself, but I am really looking forward to riding him on Saturday.
“Having the first sit on him is very important, just to get the base with him, but then to get a comparison from where he’s at and he’s really come alive now.
“Last week he was a sleeping dragon, but now he’s really come alive and come race day I’m pretty sure you’ll see the horse we see on the replays.”
Arod is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $8.50 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fifth line of betting behind Highland Reel ($5), Criterion ($6.50), Winx ($7) and Kermadec ($7.50).
You can score the best Cox Plate odds for Arod or any other horse in the field with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single runner in every single race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.