Cox Plate top picks, not much in it!
Mick Price isn’t saying Heart Of Dreams will beat the favourite Whobegotyou in Saturday’s $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, but he doesn’t believe there is much between the pair.
Price has taken heart from the fact Heart Of Dreams has beaten Whobegotyou twice in five meetings.
Dual Group One winner Heart Of Dreams is $7 second pick in the TAB Sportsbet market behind Whobegotyou ($2.70).
"Whobegotyou is obviously the yardstick in the race, he’s the deserved favourite but we’ve beaten him a couple of times in the past and I’d love to just stick my head up and say we’ll beat him again," he said.
The pair have finished in the one-two positions three times with Heart Of Dreams beating Whobegotyou in both the Group Two Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in March and the Group One Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two starts back.
Whobegotyou beat Heart Of Dreams into third place when he won a Moonee Valley 1200m two-year-old event in June last year and finished second, with Heart Of Dreams fourth, in the Group Two Liston Stakes (1400m) when both horses resumed in August.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Whobegotyou confirmed favouritism for the Cox Plate with his three-quarters of a length victory over Heart Of Dreams in the Group One Yalumba Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield in their latest clash last Saturday week.
"The Underwood was the fork in the road for us whether he went on to the Cox Plate," Price said.
"The Yalumba didn’t work out for us on the day but I still thought he was pegging back Whobegotyou who had the lovely inside run there. There’s not much between them.
"I think he’s come through with flying colours."
Heart Of Dreams has had only one run at Moonee Valley whereas Whobegotyou is unbeaten in four starts at the track including an impressive win three starts back in the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
To compensate for that, Price took the Show A Heart four-year-old to the Valley for a gallop on Tuesday and he impressed with his solo workout with race rider Craig Newitt aboard.
"I don’t think the track is the issue for us, he’s a pretty adaptable horse," Price said.
"I thought he worked super on Tuesday morning.
"Whobegotyou’s Moonee Valley form is impeccable. He’s won four from four on the track which is a big tick in his corner.
"But I’m pretty happy with Heart Of Dreams.
"He’s absolutely spot-on."
Price and Newitt came close in the 2006 Cox Plate when they combined with Pompeii Ruler who finished a gallant third to Fields Of Omagh after leading well into the short Valley straight.
The Caulfield trainer picked barrier three himself after Heart Of Dreams’ name was the second called out at the draw on Tuesday.
Price said he expected New Zealander Sir Slick to put on a good pace and Heart Of Dreams would go forward.
"We’ll be making a bit of use of our horse to the post the first time," he said.
"The idea is to be one off with a couple of horses in front of us and have the run of the race from there.
"We can only do our best. The horse is a lovely, brand-new four-year-old with no issues. He’s totally sound, he’s not underdone, he’s not overdone, and we’ve had the preparation that we wanted him to have."
By Mark Ryan