Karakatsanis plans Cox Plate bid for Black Piranha
Trainer Con Karakatsanis has already begun planning his Cox Plate bid with Stradbroke Handicap winner Black Piranha.
Karakatsanis originally planned to give Black Piranha a decent spell but has been forced to give the five-year-old a shorter break before aiming for Australia’s weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley in October.
“The Cox Plate is not that far away and it’s mid-June already,” Karakatsanis said.
“I would have preferred a longer spell but I’ll only be able to give him a break for five to six weeks.
“It won’t worry him though. He’s a top horse and he’ll come back and do the same whether he had five weeks out or five months.”
Karakatsanis said Black Piranha had pulled up well but was sporting a black eye after his first Group One victory.
“He’s got a slight black eye after being hit with a clod of dirt during the run but I think a few others would as well,” he said.
Karakatsanis, who has only been training for two years, rides Black Piranha in most of his trackwork and has no doubts the son of Clang will be suited by the Cox Plate journey of 2040m.
“There’s not a doubt in the world he’ll run 2000 metres,” he said.
Karakatsanis also hasn’t ruled out a shot at the Group One Australian cup (2000m) at Flemington next year if Black Piranha acquits himself well in the Cox Plate.
“We’ve got a few options with him but at this stage the Cox Plate is our aim and then possibly the Emirates on the last day of the spring carnival,” he said.
“It would be nice to take him overseas for the Hong Kong Mile if we got an invite, if not we could look at the Australian Cup.”
Meanwhile, Karakatsanis is still hoping for some more winter carnival glory in Brisbane with stablemate News Alert.
News Alert was an easy winner of the Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) at Doomben on May 23 but could manage only third last start to Keano in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Both runs were on heavy tracks, however Karakatsanis felt the four-year-old was never comfortable in the Lightning.
“It was a lot stickier track in the Lightning than at his previous start,” he said.
“He didn’t seem to handle it too well last Saturday. He wasn’t comfortable and didn’t stretch out.
“He also lost two plates in the run.”
Karakatsanis will give News Alert his chance for redemption in the Group Three Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 20.
Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien is also targeting the Healy Stakes with Keano.
O’Brien has a big opinion of Keano who he believed was capable of winning the Stradbroke Handicap had he started in the Group One feature.
“He’s a quality colt and I always thought he would measure up,” O’Brien said.
“He’ll have his next run in the Healy Stakes but I don’t expect it to be an easy race.”
O’Brien is hopeful Keano will measure up as a Group One contender for the spring carnival in Melbourne.