Sunday, 10 June 2012
: Moonee Valley Racing Club has issued invitations to 10 of the leading international weight-for-age middle distance performers to contest the $3 million Cox Plate (2040 metres) on October 27.
Headlining an impressive list of well credentialed international contenders is the Sir Henry Cecil trained champion Frankel, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah.
Undefeated in ten starts, including six Group 1 victories, Frankel resumed in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 19, winning comfortably by 5 lengths. Frankel currently sits atop the Timeform
and World Thoroughbred Rankings.
With a tentative program mapped out that could include the Queen Anne Stakes (1600 metres) at Royal Ascot on June 19, followed by the Sussex Stakes (1600 metres) at Goodwood on August 1, Frankel could then step up to the 2000 metre journey for the first time in the Juddmonte Stakes at York on August 22.
The other invitees who will receive subsidised travel to Melbourne if they accept are:
Cirrus Des Aigles (France): Trained by Mrs. Corine Barande-Barbe, Cirrus Des Aigles achieved a career high last October when defeating So You Think
at Ascot in the British Champions Stakes at Ascot in October. Cirrus Des Aigles won the Dubai Sheema Classic over 2400 metres on World Cup night, and followed up with another Group 1 victory in the Prix Ganay over 2200 metres at Longchamp on April 29.
Monterosso (Dubai): Dubai World Cup hero Monterosso has also been invited to contest the Sportingbet Cox Plate. Trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, Monterosso sports the Godolphin blue, and would be looking to surpass the Cox Plate performance of Grandera, who finished 3rd in 2002 behind Northerly.
Xtension (Hong Kong): Returned to form in winning the G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin in April, and trainer John Moore has expressed keen interest in travelling this 5yo gelding to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival. Winner of 4 of his 22 starts and over HK$27M in prizemoney.
Rulership (Japan): Stamped his credentials with an impressive 4 length victory in the QE II Cup at Sha Tin over 2000 metres in April. A winner of 5 of his 12 starts, this 5yo entire is trained by Katsuhiko Sumii.
Deep Brillante (Japan): A 3yo son of Deep Impact stepped up to 2400 metres at his last start, winning the Japan Derby. Highly rated in Japan and looks to be a star of the future.
Planteur (France): Won the G1 Prix Ganay in 2011. With a change of ownership and trainer, Planteur is now under the care of Marco Botti, who is looking to also bring both Jakkalberry and Crackerjack King to Melbourne for sring carnival races. Ffinished 3rd in the Dubai World Cup and then returned to France where he finished 3rd behind Golden Lilac and Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d'Ispahan last month.
Excelebration (UK): Trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O'Brien, Excelebration has proven himself to be one of the leading 1400m–1600m gallopers, winning 6 of 11 starts. Of his five defeats, four have been at the hands of Frankel.
Cityscape (UK): Winner of the 2012 Dubai Duty Free over 1800 metres on World Cup night. Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by Roger Charlton, Cityscape contested the G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin in April following his Dubai win. Six-time winner from 18 starts.
Golden Lilac (France): Trained by Andre Fabre. Returned after 10 months away from the track with a devastating win in the Prix d'Ispahan first-up over 1800 metres. A three-time G1 winner, including the Prix De Diane over 2200 metres in 2011.