2013 Cox Plate: Mull Of Killough To Be Ridden Forward

The 2013 Cox Plate field does not have a great deal of speed on paper and trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam has revealed that she would like to see Mull Of Killough to be positioned towards the front of the field.

Mull Of Killough will be flying the flag for Europe in the 2013 Cox Plate field at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Mull Of Killough will be flying the flag for Europe in the 2013 Cox Plate field at Moonee Valley on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Chapple-Hyam has been bullish about Mull Of Killough’s chances in the Cox Plate since he arrived in Australia almost a month ago but admits that she is worried that the contest could turn into a sit and sprint affair and believes the seven-year-old is a better chance in a strongly run affair.

“I wouldn’t want to be back because it would probably crawl and turn into a sprint so I would want to be in the first five,” Chapple-Hyam told Racing Ahead on RSN.

“He has a good heart to the line and is solid but obviously he is stepping up to International Group 1 quality so we will just have to see how he fares.

“He digs deep in that last furlong and is a trier and doesn’t give up.”

Mull Of Killough had his first look at the Moonee Valley last week and Chapple-Hyam said that he had no problems navigating the tight-turning track.

The Australian-born trainer said that she won’t be using the track as an excuse if Mull Of Killough’s fails to perform on Saturday in the 2013 Cox Plate and is confident that the Group 3 winner will handle whatever conditions that the Melbourne weather throws up this weekend.

“There are no excuses he is a well-balanced horse,” Chapple-Hyam said.

“He has gone around Lingfield, he has gone around Kranji and Arlington so that would be a poor excuse.

“I would say that whatever amount of rain that you have had you would have to half it because the wind is so strong and plus you are on a strathayr track which just strains and it should be perfect ground.”

A number of experts have criticised the decision of Racing Victoria to invite Mull Of Killough, who has failed to perform at Group 1 level, to contest the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship and Chapple-Hyam is hopeful that the gelding will prove the critics wrong on Saturday.

“We are privileged and grateful that Moonee Valley has invited us out here and now we have to produce the goods,” she said.

“There is no pressure because he is a 100 to 1 shot but I would really like him to be in the frame.”

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.