Durrant Quinella In Cox Stakes

The remarkably consistent Mr Moet proved too good for his rivals in the C.B. Cox Stakes at Ascot; Mr Moet has been the star of the Perth Carnival so far with this victory following-on from his Railway Stakes victory and second placing in the Kingston Town Classic. Chester Road improved on his unlucky run in the Kingston Town to finish a very good second giving trainer Adam Durrant the quinella in this Group 2 event. Ranger showed a return to form with a good third. At Warwick Farm All Legal just prevailed from Alma's Fury with Darci Be Good third in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes while at Doomben Audacious Spirit clung-on to narrowly defeat Morning Captain in the listed Lough Neagh Stakes with Phelan Ready in third place.


A review of selected races across Australia follows:


Flemington, Race 1

First-starter Safeguard from the Peter Snowden stable was very heavily-backed in pre-post betting and he did not let-down those who backed him by leading all the way for a comfortable victory. This beautifully-bred son of Exceed And Excel and Preserve was too good for his rivals and he looks to have a bright future. 


Flemington, Race 5

The three year old filly Benenden was much too good for her rivals in this restricted-72 race for three and four year old fillies and mares over 1420 metres; beautifully ridden by apprentice Andrew Stead Benenden sat three wide with cover from barrier 15 before unleashing a winning run in the straight. Benenden has now had six starts this preparation for four wins and a second and she is improving with every run; the second horse Quicksilver Lass sat three wide without cover throughout and she battled-on very well in the straight. Another win for Quicksilver Lass in this class in the near future is very likely.


Flemington, Race 6

A good win to Future Solution in this open handicap over 1420 metres; Future Solution was disappointing the previous Saturday when a second-up sixth to British General but he turned that form around proving too good for his rivals this time. Now that he is back in winning form Future Solution will continue to be competitive in races of this class as he is a consistent horse that handles all track conditions. Lone Command ran an excellent race first-up after more than a year off finishing a very good second; although now an eight year old Lone Command is at his best on good tracks so a win for him over Summer is likely. Lord Of Brazil was a massive 'drifter' on-course and then raced without luck; it was a good effort for him to run third but Lord Of Brazil has had a long campaign and may not have many more runs left in him this time around.


Flemington, Race 8

The Commands mare Gig proved her liking for the straight course by winning this restricted-78 race for three and four year olds over 1200 metres; Gig has now started twice down the straight for two wins and more wins are in-store as this victory was impressive. The three year old Al Aneed raced very well for second carrying 58kg and Tackleberry fought-on courageously under 59.5kg to run third; Tackleberry's previous form was outstanding and another win for him this preparation is very likely, especially when he races around a bend. Pillar Of Creation showed good promise in his first preparation and he battled-on well for fourth at his first run since May.


Warwick Farm, Race 1

Heart Testa maintained his unbeaten record winning start number four in this Benchmark-74 for three year olds over 1300 metres; Heart Testa had to lump 59kg on this occasion and although his winning margin was small it was still a very good effort. More wins will surely come the way of Heart Testa.


Warwick Farm, Race 2

Three weeks ago at Warwick Farm Babel just defeated Princess Layla and it was the same story here; both of these mares are racing in great heart and will continue to be hard to beat against similar opposition. Mosse Diva had not lost a race in NSW from four starts before yesterday and she was unlucky not to keep that record intact; having her first start in 46 days Mosse Diva was caught wide throughout and she battled-on very well in the straight to hold third place. This David Hayes trained mare will be winning again very shortly. Choice Words went around as favourite again and let her supporters down again; Choice Words gave-in like a 'pricked balloon' in the straight after leading and she could not be recommended for the time being.


Warwick Farm, Race 3 - Inglis Nursery

The $250.000 Inglis Nursey over 1000 metres was a triumph for Bjorn Baker training the quinella with Twilight Royale and Fuerza; both of these two year olds were having their first starts and both runs were impressive. Twilight Royale, a filly by Testa Rossa and Fuerza, a son of Snippetson, will both be suited by a step-up in distance and good futures look assured for both of them.


Warwick Farm, Race 4

The previously undefeated Baltra did not reproduce his Wagga form in this Benchmark-80 race over 1300 metres; Baltra did not appear to be travelling like a winner at any stage of the race but battled-on well in the straight to finish second to River Of Salvation. River Of Salvation is no superstar but he is a very consistent galloper, especially on good-rated tracks; from thirteen starts on good tracks River Of Salvation has won five races with two seconds and five thirds so he must always be considered under those conditions.


Warwick Farm, Race 8 - Razor Sharp Handicap

As expected Adebisi went straight to the front and Hugh Bowman once there was able to dictate terms and control the race; Bound To Blush also had a very good run on the speed and the two of them setted-down to a two-horse war before Adebisi proved a bit too good. Adebisi really appreciated the large drop in weight to 54.5kg from his Queensland runs against an average line-up of older sprinters in Sydney; Bound To Blush had her chance to win but still battled-on well to finish second. However finding horses to follow from this race could prove very elusive.


Doomben, Race 1

Noisy Ocean has promised a good deal in his career but rarely delivered; however that promise is now coming to fruition as shown with his tough win in this 1MW over 1600 metres; at his last start before a spell Noisy Ocean bolted-in over 2030 metres at Doomben and now he has won at his last two starts. Noisy Ocean has had nine starts on good tracks for three wins and three seconds and if those conditions prevail over Summer Noisy Ocean will be winning more races this preparation. The favourite Endless Shadow was certainly not disgraced with her defeat; Endless Shadow had won her previous three starts and she was held-up for a run while Noisy Ocean had full momentum. It will be no surprise to see Endless Shadow return to winning form very shortly.


Doomben, Race 3

The aptly-named Flying Home was literally flying-home to snatch victory in the last stride from Dolly Dolly and Anagold in this set weight class-6 over 2200 metres; Flying Home was having only his ninth race start and his first beyond 1600 metres so it appears certain that Flying Home has real staying potential. Dolly Dolly looked all over a winner until Flying Home descended; Dolly Dolly is racing with great consistency and she cannot be discounted from these staying races in her current form. Anagold battled-on well in the straight; she was never quite in the right-spot throughout the race and for her to be beaten less than a half-length was a good effort. Anagold will be back in winning form before too long.


Doomben, Race 8

A very good class-6 over 1200 metres closed proceedings at Doomben with the winner I'm Cool being a horse of real promise; I'm Cool was having his first start in over three months but at no stage of the race did he look in any danger of defeat. Beginning brilliantly from barrier 2 Michael Cahill took a trail on I'm Cool and then came around the leaders approaching the turn before sprinting away in the straight for a comfortable victory; I'm Cool has now had five starts for four wins and a nose second to the very promising Someday. I'm Cool will be winning many more races during this preparation. Longshoreman is racing very well again this preparation; after drawing awkwardly Longshoreman was snagged-back to last on the rails before unleashing a powerful sprint in the straight to grab second place easily. In his current form Longshoreman will be winning again in the very near future.


Ascot, Race 7 - C.B. Cox Stakes

Most of the runners from the Cox Stakes will progress to the Perth Cup over 2400 metres on New Years Day; although the Perth Cup is a handicap the three placegetters Mr Moet, Chester Road and Ranger are probably the only ones worth considering. Mr Moet was too good for all his rivals yesterday but if he goes to the Perth Cup he will be giving both Chester Road and Ranger a significant amount of weight; however he is in such outstanding form he could not be discounted. Cantonese, the six length winner of the Christmas Cup over 2400 metres at Rosehill has arrived in Perth and is sure to be a serious contender for the Perth Cup. However Chester Road will be receiving weight off his principal opposition, and now that he is back in top form, Chester Road will be very hard to beat in what should be a cracking edition of the Perth Cup.