Durrant’s Cox Stakes Campaign

17
Dec

Leading trainer Adam Durrant has not given up on Mr Moet and Chester Road returning to the winner’s list as they step up their campaign in the Group 2 C.B Cox Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

With stable mates Real Love and Real Charm posting exhilarating wins and leading the stable charge in feature races this season, Mr Moet and Chester Road have been forced to take a lower profile.

Mr Moet and Chester Road were unplaced in the Railway Stakes (1600m) and Kingston Town Classic (1800m) respectively, but were not suited by the high pressure and tempo of both races.

Chester Road, who has enjoyed six of eight wins over 2000m, is getting much-needed miles into his legs after missing two years of his career with a debilitating injury.

Mr Moet is two years past winning the Group 1 Railway Stakes and the Group 2 Cox Stakes in 2012. He ran second in the Kingston Town Classic.

Despite playing second fiddle to their younger inform stable mates, Durrant believes the veteran pair will relish a step up in journey.

“They are at a more suitable distance now for their age brackets,” said Durrant.

“They are probably a little more dour in comparison to previous years.

“They are going good enough to win one of these races.

“They are tough seasoned older horses and I’m sure they will be competitive.

“I think Bass Straight will be the hardest beat on his run on form in the Railway Stakes and Kingston Town.”

Mr Moet, drawn in barrier nine for Daniel Staeck, is a $7.50 chance with the TAB.

Chester Road, to be ridden by Peter Knuckey from gate seven, is at $11.

Bass Straight, prepared by Neville Parnham and in the hands of his jockey son, Chris, is $4.

Railway Stakes hero Elite Belle holds favouritism at $2.85, displacing the Paula Wagg-trained Balmont Girl who has been scratched.

Wagg opted for a field of seven in the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) and a showdown with Real Love who is aiming for a feature race double.

Balmont Girl won the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and was placed in the Railway Stakes and Northerly Stakes (1400m).

She enjoyed no luck in the Kingston Town Classic and finished 10th of 16 to Moriarty after racing wide throughout.

“They are going to have to do some work to get her to bounce back after her run the other day,” said Durrant.

“She was disappointing and something had to be a miss, but she is certainly capable if she can get it right.”

Real Love, who won the Queens Cup (2200m) two weeks back, can consolidate Perth Cup (2400m) favouritism in the St Leger.

“She is always hitting the line hard and is proven over the longer journey,” said Durrant.

Real Charm will target a winning hat trick in the Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m).