A win by Perth galloper Scales Of Justice over 2000m at his next start will be enough for trainer Lindsey Smith to pencil in a meeting with champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Scales Of Justice made it a one act affair last Saturday when he raced away for a three lengths win in the Group 3 $150,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont in Perth and if he can reproduce that effort next start in the Group 3 $150,000 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont on July 1, Smith will map out a plan heading to a showdown with Winx in the Cox Plate.
“I want to see him do it (win over 2000m) and if he does, and I’m of the belief he will, then it’s highly likely we will come to Melbourne for the spring,” Smith told the Herald Sun.
“I’d like to race against Winx. I’m not expecting him to beat her but if he could finish second or third that’s good enough for me.”
“If he can run out the 2000m it’s more than likely he’ll come. He mightn’t be good enough if Winx is in it but we enjoy racing this horse and we’re up for the challenge.”
“We’d go in a race like the Cox Plate and hope he’d be competitive. I would be proud just to have him in the race.”
Scales Of Justice has already proven himself at Group 1 level and flew the flag for locals over the 2016 Perth Summer Carnival with a convincing win in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
At his next start Scales Of Justice was beaten by the shortest possible margin when second to the Darren Weir trained Stratum Star in the Group 1 $1m Peters Investments-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot a fortnight later.
Smith pointed out that several of the West Australian gallopers that have ventured to the Eastern states have performed creditably against the locally trained horses at the Carnivals.
“Perth horses have been very competitive in recent times in the Eastern States and he’s the best of the lot of them,” Smith said.
The Chris Waller trained Winx is chasing her third successive Cox Plate win and dominates the early betting for the 2017 running at $1.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Scales Of Justice has been listed at $34 for the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’.