Black Piranha on Cox Plate mission
Group One winner Black Piranha will follow the path blazed by former top mare Dane Ripper when he attempts to add the Cox Plate to his Stradbroke Handicap triumph this spring.
Trainer Con Karakatsanis said the gelding was back in work at his Rosehill stable and outlined his plans for an ambitious spring, culminating in racing’s weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley in October.
"He’s been back in for three weeks and he looks sensational, better than I thought he would," Karakatsanis said.
"He’s come back a bigger and better horse, I’m tickled pink with him.
"The aim is the Cox Plate."
Black Piranha gave Karakatsanis the first Group One win of his fledgling career when he atoned for consecutive seconds in the George Ryder Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Doomben 10,000 with an overdue victory in the Stradbroke.
The last horse to win the Stradbroke and Cox Plate in the same year was the Bart Cummings-trained Dane Ripper who achieved the feat in 1997.
Black Piranha is by AJC Australian Derby winner Clang but is yet to win beyond 1500 metres, although Karakatsanis pointed to his second in last year’s Port Macquarie Cup (2000m) as indication the gelding would cope with the 2040 metres of the Cox Plate.
"He’s by Clang and he ran second in the Port Macquarie Cup over 2000 metres and was very unlucky," Karakatsanis said.
"The way he races, he’s the type of horse who puts his head on his chest and settles so I don’t think the distance will be a problem."
Black Piranha will resume in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle next month before returning to Sydney for the Group One Epsom Handicap at Randwick on October 3.
All being well he will then head to Melbourne where he will provide his trainer with another first.
"It will be the first time I’ve had a runner down there," Karakatsanis said.
Stablemate News Alert will be Black Piranha’s travelling companion to Victoria where Karakatsanis is hoping to run him in the Salinger Stakes.
The Healy Stakes winner started favourite in the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton and had excuses for his ninth to Battlefield.
"He was galloped on in the Ramornie and was a bit sore after it," Karakatsanis said.
"He’ll have a month in the paddock and get ready for the Salinger in Melbourne.
"He’s a good horse to have as a second stringer."
By Mandy Cottell