Early Arrival On The Cards For Cox Plate Contender Dan Excel

Trainer John Moore has revealed that Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Dan Excel could arrive in Australia within the next couple of weeks to begin preparations for the 2014 Cox Plate.

Leading Australian jockey Tommy Berry steered Dan Excel to victory in the 2014 Singapore Airlines International Cup.

Leading Australian jockey Tommy Berry steered Dan Excel to victory in the 2014 Singapore Airlines International Cup. Photo by: Steve Hart

Moore revealed after Dan Excel took out the Singapore Airlines International Cup in impressive fashion that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) was on the agenda for the Shamardal gelding, but admitted that he had yet to work out the logistics for the potential trip to Australia.

Quarantine restrictions and timing issues have generally kept Hong Kong horses out of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but Moore told South China Morning Post that he and owner David Boehmare looking into stabling Dan Excel at his brother Gary’s new stables at Rosehill Gardens, which would allow him to send the six-year-old to Australia several months before the running of the Cox Plate at the end of November.

“We are just thinking about Dan Excel specifically and we still need to talk with the Jockey Club about the logistics of it all,” Moore said.

“What we are thinking is to ship Dan Excel to Australia in a couple of weeks, do his quarantine, then he’ll have a short break at David’s Muskoka Farm property outside Sydney.

“Muskoka is a quarantine station for export but for not import purposes, so Dan Excel will have to do the quarantine somewhere else then he’ll have a short rest at Muskoka.

“He’ll have three weeks of pre-training and go into Gary’s stables at Rosehill to be trained, but still under my name.

“This way we get the horse into the country much earlier, he can get his quarantine done, acclimatise to the different time and environment and be properly prepared, which they need to be for races like the Cox Plate.

“After that Dan Excel would come back here for the internationals.”

John Moore has previously ruled out trips to Australia with the likes of Military Attack and Viva Pataca, but is hoping that Gary Moore’s new stables in Sydney may give both himself and a number of other trainers in Hong Kong a greater opportunity to chase the prizemoney on offer in Australia during the Spring Racing Carnival.

“It’s just a concept we’d like to work towards and there’s a lot to think about and a lot to talk about with the Jockey Club if it were to become reality,” Moore said.

“But with Gary having stables in Sydney, and he’ll be able to get a satellite operation in Melbourne too, we’re thinking there could be a clear path with the timing and logistics worked out and it could be used not only by me, but any trainer here who wants to run a horse in Australia.”

Dan Excel has competed at the highest level of racing since he made his racing debut under the care of Kevin Prendergast in Ireland and has performed consistently since joining Moore’s stable in Hong Kong at the end of 2011.

The talented gelding recorded his maiden win at Group 1 level in The Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin in May last year and is expected to be top ten of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings after his impressive win in the Singapore International Cup.

About The Author

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.