Breakfast with the stars will finalise Cox Plate field

Breakfast With The Stars at Moonee Valley tomorrow morning will help finalise the make-up of the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will gallop his two Cox Plate contenders Shoot Out and Rangirangidoo and the quality of their work will determine if one or both the Group 1 performers will take their place in the weight for age championship of Australasia.

While Waller is leaning towards a Cox Plate start for Shoot Out, the top trainer is considering a start in the easier Group 2 $220,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday for his warhorse Rangirangidoo.

“Shoot Out has got to work well on Tuesday morning to run,” Waller said.

“The big weight hindered him in the Epsom on a day dominated by lightweights and leaders. The same was true for Rangirangdoo so I’m not too disheartened.”

“I think the Crystal Mile is the race for Rangirangdoo.”

“He’s been to Moonee Valley before three years ago and won the Crystal Mile and I think it suits him.”

“If he ran really well, he would back up in the Mackinnon Stakes.”

Shoot Out, the winner of four Group 1 races, struggled under 58kg in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 6 finishing seventh to Fat Al while Rangirando was twelfth with 57.5kg.

Eight year old Rangirangdoo took out the 2009 Crystal Mile and Hugh Bowman will be aboard both the Waller runners if he splits his stable mates up into separate races.

Shoot Out will be having his second attempt at winning a Cox Plate after finishing a creditable fourth in 2010 which saw the great So You Think win his second Cox Plate under the care of Bart Cummings.

John Hawkes won’t commit to a Cox Plate start for Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard until after he gallops at Flemington on Tuesday morning with grand slam winning rider Chris Munce to ride on Saturday if the three year old goes around.

“I want to see how the colt works in the morning and then we will make a decision on whether he runs in the Cox Plate,’’ said Hawkes who trains in partnership with his sons Wayne and Michael.

“If he starts, then Chris Munce will ride him.”

Munce will have to work hard to get down to the 49.5kg but holds a high opinion of the Casino Prince colt after partnering him when fourth to Shoot Out in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22.

“He’s on the improve, hasn’t plateaued out yet and I think the Cox Plate is a realistic goal for him,” Munce said.

Luke Nolen will be looking for his first Cox Plate win when he takes over on Southern Speed after the mare was denied a chance to win back to back Caulfield Cups when trainer Leon Macdonald scratched her on race morning to keep her for this week.

Carnival jockey Glen Boss rode Southern Speed when the mare ran the worst race of her career  beating one runner home when fifteenth to Green Moon in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.

Boss will be on Ocean Park on Saturday hoping to keep his unbeaten Spring record on the four year old intact after winning the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 22 and the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 13.

The Gai Waterhouse trained three year old Pierro remains the Cox Plate favourite at $3.50 with Craig Williams’ mount Green Moon at $5 and Kiwi Ocean Park at $5.50.

All Too Hard is at $11 while Waller’s pair of Shoot Out ($31) and Rangirangdoo ($51) are well down the market order.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.