Most of the action is still happening elsewhere around the world, both on course and off course it would seem.
Breeders Cup at Santa Anita?
Let’s start with the recent events unfolding around the Breeders Cup meeting scheduled to be held at Santa Anita Park on the first weekend of November.
Earlier this year there was an outcry after 30 racehorse deaths occurred at the Santa Anita track, which is located in Arcadia, East Los Angeles, California.
There was another fatality just last week, which has prompted state racing officials to jump in and make a call about the safety of the racecourse.
During this week, the Californian State Government gave control to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), giving it authority to close Santa Anita until it is satisfied that issues have been resolved.
This might only take a short while, but then again it might take a long time.
So the Breeders Cup scheduled for later in the year will be impacted by whatever decision is made.
Last year’s Breeders Cup was held in Kentucky, the carnival is rotated around the United States every year.
Any uncertainty may put doubt in the minds of connections of horses earmarked to travel from overseas, with the Melbourne Spring Carnival being a possible benefactor.
As mentioned in our last report, this race was the last Group 1 feature for the Japanese spring season.
Only one horse in the race: Kiseki, has been given an invite to the Cox Plate, but it was a mare, the only one in the race that took away the honours.
Ridden by Australian jockey Damian Lane, Lys Gracieux was the third favourite in betting, but put away a fairly decent field of proven gallopers with relative ease.
She doesn’t have an invite to the Cox Plate just yet, but her victory and a start in the Moonee Valley feature would guarantee a bonus payment if she was invited and ultimately victorious.
Given that she has traveled internationally previously to Hong Kong, a trip to Australia would not be out of the question.
You would think also that local boy Damian Lane would have first option for this plum ride after his successful short-term stint in Japan.
Lys Gracieux is currently rated at $8.00 in SportsBet’s all-in market.
Updates on the local front
Just an update on Te Akau Shark who we reported on in our last report.
He is in fact a rising 5 year old, not 4 year old as we reported.
Also, trainer Paul Richards has clarified the horses plans a bit further during this week.
The intention is to run him in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap over 1600m in September.
This is a good strategic move considering some of the ownership of the horse reside in Sydney, including Paul Gallen and some other members of the Cronulla Sharks NRL team, so it would be good for them to get out and support their investment.
It also appears that the Cox Plate is the confirmed main target for the Kiwi galloper.
News also from the Chris Waller camp regarding star filly Verry Elleegant.
According to the stable reps, no definite target has been set in place for the daughter of Zed just yet.
Likely targets include both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups double, the WS Cox Plate and the Golden Eagle.
The main thing about the horse who returned to work this week, is how she behaves.
The Waller camp seemed to have worked out her quirky behaviour once she arrived from Darren Weir’s stable, but the impression is: she might be one year older but no less quirky, so monitoring her progress and her manners will be an ongoing thing from now until November.
Certainly she is an exciting prospect, but her race day manners will ultimately dictate what her schedule will be looking forward.
Horse profile of the week
This week we profile another Japanese mare in Aerolithe, a five year old trained by Takanori Kikuzawa.
We last saw her in the most recent edition of Yasuda Kinen (1600m), where she ended up second to the fast finishing Indy Champ but nosed out star mare Almond Eye.
We profiled this race in one of our other previous reports.
Aerolithe is a flashy gray mare, who was successful at Group 1 level as a three-year-old, winning the NHK Mile Cup.
She has recently traveled internationally, venturing over to Florida at the start of this year for a hit and run mission on the rich Pegasus World Cup Turf (Group 1) run over 1 mile and 3/16, raced at Gulfstream Park, where she was unplaced in a ten horse field.
Her connections also wanted to race in last years Breeders Cup, but couldn’t get her there on time due to airplane problems.
You would think that a quicker trip to Melbourne with an invite guaranteed might be a better option.
Hopefully, we might get to see her running around Moonee Valley come the end of October, even though her name is not mentioned in the SportsBet all-in odds for the big race (see below).
Her current record stands at 16 starts, 4 wins, 6 placings.
That’s all for this weeks W.S. Cox Plate Horse Watch Report.
Keep checking in with Kruzey.com.au for more, as we count down to the last weekend in October 2019