If Helmet staves off his opponents as he has in 2011 W S Cox Plate betting, he will win comfortably.
The mighty three-year-old has held favouritism all week and with a good push from its stable, he is sure to start favourite for the 2011 Cox Plate.
Luxbet have reported a bet of $20,000 on Helmet and have him the $3.30 ahead of market leper Jimmy Choux $3.60 out to $6 and the strong supported Rekindled Interest $12 to $6.50 back out to$7.50. Secret Admirer is now fourth favourite with Luxbet at $11.
Helmet, when winning the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, ran the equivalent to five lengths quicker than the older horses in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) won by King Mufhasa.
That was achieved pretty much by his own doing – working hard early and late and by leading.
His final 600m was slower, about three lengths slower than the Toorak runners, but it shows how much work he did early.
Perhaps his jockey Kerrin McEvoy got away with one but no denying the quality of Helmet.
Most are thinking the same thing – if he is the real deal, he will be the 2011 Cox Plate winner as the older horses are good and in some cases very good but not top notch.
Doubters of Helmet point to the fact that he is rising in distance and class as well as taking on the older horses for the first time in the 2011 Cox Plate.
The distance doubt can be placed on Sincero, Playing God, Pinker Pinker and Secret Admirer as well.
All of them including Helmet have the breeding to run the 2040m of the Cox Plate right out.
Helmet, on his dam’s side, will run 2040m – probably more.
He also gets in on a postage stamp weight of 49.5kg, probably 50.5kg allowing for Kerrin McEvoy’s weight issues.
Helmet is by Exceed and Excel who was an exciting sprinter who won up to 1400m.
His dam Accessories was unraced but she was by Singspiel from Anna Matrushka who was by Mill Reef.
Singspiel and Mill Reef in particular suggests Helmet will run the 2040m of the 2011 Cox Plate right out and probably go well beyond.
Assisstant trainer Paul Snowden is confident about Helmet.
“He’s spot on for tomorrow and he’s going to run accordingly,” Snowden said.
“He’s bounced back really well (from his Caulfield Guineas run) and we couldn’t be happier.”
Trainer Jim Conlan will add blinkers to Rekindled Interest’s race gear for tomorrow’s Cox Plate.
“I planned the whole time I would save them for this race,” Conlan said.
“He has a bit of lag time between when you ask him to go and when he steps up the gears.
“There has to be some question marks with Helmet.
“(But) you’ve got Peter Snowden training it and he would not let that horse go to the races unless he thought he had a cracking chance.
“I’m very happy with my horse and that’s all you can worry about.
“I want for the first 70% of that race tomorrow to be as easy as possible for Rekindled Interest.
“The idea would be that by the time we get the bottom of the straight we’re in striking range.
“If that’s the case then he loves that track (and) he’ll put himself in the finish.”
Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer is on the third line of 2011 Cox Plate betting – Luxbet have her at $11.
“I’m very content with where she is,” said trainer Grahame Begg.
“She’s had a fairly faultless preparation and I’m very excited.
“We’re going to a Cox Plate with a horse we think has a genuine chance.
“It’s an intriguing race, a lot of variables, a lot of unknowns.
“There are distance queries on horses, including mine.
“In saying that, she’s got a bit of stoutness on the dam side and I think she’ll run the trip.
“I also think Helmet will be made to earn the lead if that’s where they want him but then again they may just sit.
“As I said there are variables. I can’t see it happening but if they are getting it easy up front I wouldn’t be surprised if a few get itchy at the back and take off early.
“I’m just going to tell my bloke [Brenton Avdulla] to be patient but if they do take off early don’t get caught napping.
“ If they take off you have to go with them and get the drag.”
Jimmy Choux’s trainer John Bary believes his horse will perform well despite the betting drift and he much puiblicised lazy work out on Tuesday when beaten by Rekindled Interest at Moonee Valley.
“We’re just going to let (jockey) Jonathan (Riddell) ride his race,” Bary said.
“I’m thrilled with him.
“Everything we’ve done this week has been what we’ve wanted to go right.
“All you can ask when you’re going in to one of these major races is that you have an uninterrupted prep heading in and we’ve had that.
“We’re sitting in a very nice position.”
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