Guest Of Honour Still Set To Contest Cox Plate

September 4th, 2014

British-trained galloper Guest Of Honour is still on track to make the trip to Australia to contest the 2014 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 25.

Guest Of Honour has form around 2013 Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance.

Guest Of Honour has form around 2013 Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Guest Of Honour was purchased by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock after he scored an impressive win over Mull Of Killough and Long John in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1609m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting to run in the Cox Plate and managing owner Darren Dance remains confident that the Cape Cross entire will earn a start in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.

Dance told Sky Racing HQ that Guest Of Honour will leave England with the first planeload of European-trained 2014 Spring Racing Carnival contenders and will complete his quarantine at Werribee after arriving in Australia on AFL Grand Final Day before making his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.

“We are still hopeful,” Dance said.

“He goes into quarantine on the first shipment and all being well he will go into the Toorak at Caulfield as his first Australian start.

“He will be running against Dan Excel in that race I suspect and we will get a pretty good guide for the Cox Plate out of that.

“If he can run top three and be impressive we will know that he will have improvement for the Cox Plate.

“You just can’t say I want to run in the Cox Plate because you actually have to get invited, so we would like to be there and hopefully our rating is high enough and we run well enough in the Toorak to get a run in the Cox Plate because that is what we bought the horse to achieve.”

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Guest Of Honour has recorded five race wins from his 14 race starts to date and he has recorded black type wins in the Listed Ganton Stakes (1609m) and Summer Mile Stakes this season, but he failed to fire at his only previous start at Group 1 level in the Arlington Million Stakes (2011m) last year.

Despite his lack of form over 2040 metres, Guest Of Honour has been kept safe in the 2014 Cox Plate betting market with Ladbrokes.com.au and he is available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $26.

Four-time Group 1 winner Silent Achiever ($11) remains favourite in the Cox Plate betting from Aidan O’Brien-trained Adelaide ($13), Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Dan Excel ($15), Australian Derby winner Criterion ($17), talented mare Royal Descent ($17) and Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls ($17).

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