Cox Plate 2015 invitees arrive in Melbourne

The three overseas invitees for the Cox Plate have arrived in Melbourne ahead of the big race at Moonee Valley.

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Arod, Gailo Chop and Highland Reel arrived on Saturday afternoon to begin quarantine at Werribee ahead of the Cox Plate on October 24.

All three travelled well with Gailo Chop and Highland Reel making an appearance on the Werribee track on Sunday morning.

Owner Terry Henderson from OTI Racing, said Gailo Chop had travelled well and looked fresh.

“I saw him in Newmarket last week,” Henderson said.

“He’s a laid-back gelding and what I saw last week in Newmarket was represented here.

“He seems to have taken the first 12 hours very well but it normally takes about four days before you know if there’s any negativity from the travelling.”

Gailo Chop, trained by Frenchman Anton De Watrigant, is the outsider of the three in Cox Plate markets at $18.

Highland Reel is an $8 chance, Arod is at $9 with Criterion and Kermadec the $5 co-favourites.

Henderson is confident Gailo Chop will handle the tight Moonee Valley circuit after racing on the more spacious tracks in Europe.

“Certainly I’m a lot happier that it’s at Moonee Valley than at Flemington where the track is far too hard for these horses,” Henderson said.

“At Moonee Valley if he gets around those turns he’ll be very competitive.”

Henderson said Gailo Chop had the right form for a Cox Plate, finishing four lengths off last year’s winner Adelaide in the Belmont Derby last year after an interrupted passage.

He said the gelding over-raced when he finished unplaced in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, saying the jockey made a tactical error.

Brad Rawiller, who has a good record aboard OTI Racing-owned horses, has been booked for the Cox Plate ride.

Fellow OTI Racing-owned Manndawi, an arrival with the first shipment of international horses, has thrived in Melbourne.

Trained by Ed Dunlop, Manndawi is to run in the Geelong Cup on October 21 and if he performs up to expectations will then contest next month’s Sandown Classic.


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