The Kiwi connections behind Probabeel chose prestige over prizemoney when electing to chase Cox Plate glory this Saturday and with the perfect draw they could be rewarded in Australia’s premier weight-for-age test.
Trainer Jamie Richards and owners Cambridge Stud passed up the chance to pursue a $7.5 million carrot in Sydney’s Golden Eagle in a bid to fulfil their Cox Plate dream at The Valley this weekend.
Probabeel was the favourite for the Golden Eagle when the stable elected to head to Melbourne.
The last start Epsom Handicap winner will ensure Richards has a runner in the race for consecutive years after Te Akau Shark ran third behind Lys Gracieux and Castelvecchio in the $5 million feature in 2019.
Kerrin McEvoy rode Probabeel (yellow/black) to win the Epsom Handicap at her last start. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Richards admits it was an easy decision to put the Cox Plate in his crosshairs again following discussions with Probabeel’s owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay and believes Probabeel is ready to leave her mark on Melbourne.
“Brendan and Jo Lindsay are racing enthusiasts and it makes a race like the Cox Plate, especially in its 100th year, very appealing,” Richards said.
“They are in the process of building a Heritage Centre over here in New Zealand and the prestige of the race swayed us towards heading to Melbourne.
“It wasn’t about the money.
“We’ve got a mare racing in top form and are happy to be there.”
Trainer Jamie Richards is happy with Probabeel. Picture: AAP Image/Simon BullardSource:AAP
Probabeel was named on an exclusive list of 14 horses to make the Cox Plate field on Tuesday with Buckhurst the unlucky horse as the first emergency.
The Kiwi star was one of the big winners on Tuesday after drawing barrier two for Saturday’s main event.
“We couldn’t be happier with the barrier,” Richards said.
“She has had a good preparation for the race and is coming off a very good win the Epsom Handicap.
“The 2000m is suitable. She is by Savabeel so will handle the trip so hopefully we can get good ground on Saturday.”
Probabeel has firmed from $13 into $9 with TAB.com.au following the barrier draw.
Kerrin McEvoy will ride Probabeel in Saturday’s Cox Plate, a week after he was crowned a three-time The Everest winning jockey when scoring a famous victory on Classique Legend last weekend.
Solid without doing too much, Patrick Payne worked New Zealand star Probabeel at @TheValley this morning. pic.twitter.com/Mm7XBwtsHQ
He was still in quarantine on Tuesday so his brother-in-law Patrick Payne took Probabeel for a spin around The Valley in his absence at Tuesday’s Breakfast With The Best event.
Payne, who won the 2002 Cox Plate on Northerly, was impressed by the hit out.
“She got all her legs right,” he said.
“ Moonee Valley, it’s cambered really well and I find it rides really well.
“A horse coming the opposite way, when they’ve been racing Sydney-way it makes it very easy for them.
“Her coat is really good. Ash, who is looking after her, she’s doing a great job and she knows her really well.
“I think Jamie’s (Richards) got her in a pretty good place.”
Originally published asPrestige trumps prizemoney for well drawn Kiwi star
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