Trainer Ciaron Maher is not happy.
Trainer Ciaron Maher is not happy.

‘This was his target race’: Maher miffed by omission

GLEN Boss and Ciaron Maher predict Mr Quickie and Humidor, casualties of a controversial Cox Plate cull, will prove the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee wrong after they were omitted from the weight-for-age championship.

Valley officials preferred Te Akau Shark and three-year-old Castelvecchio over Group 1 winners Humidor, Gailo Chop, Mr Quickie and Godolphin's Dream Castle.

Settling on the first capacity field since 2015 when Winx began her remarkable four-season domination, Cox Plate officials knew controversy and disappointment would follow for some high-class runners.

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Maher is adamant the committee erred by overlooking triple Group 1 winner Humidor, who twice filled Cox Plate placings behind Winx, and believes he is in winning form.

"It's disappointing," Maher said. "I thought he would be in. But there are only 14 spots.

"In terms of timing, he is spot on. You saw the way he smoked around here this morning.

"I'm sure if he happened to get into the field, he would run a hell of a race.
"This was his target race, and you have them right for a day."

Humidor is first emergency and, if he doesn't get a start, Maher has other spring objectives in mind and believes he can be successful.

Humidor (left) is first emergency for the Cox Plate. Picture: Micheal Klein
Humidor (left) is first emergency for the Cox Plate. Picture: Micheal Klein

"He's in the Emirates, he's in the Moonee Valley Cup ... we'll make a decision which way we go," he said.

Humidor's owner Brae Sokolski, who won The Everest with Yes Yes Yes last Saturday, said: "It's a subjective decision and connections of their horses are always going to be biased.

"You have to accept the jury's decision, even if you don't agree with it.
"I genuinely feel like he merited a run and the fact that he has performed so well at Moonee Valley was in his favour.
"Ciaron had him right where he wanted him. He galloped brilliantly (on Tuesday morning) and we are unlikely to get an opportunity now.
"You never know, but we are really deflated. But by the same token, I have still got two horses (Kings Will Dream and Verry Elleegant) in the race, which is awesome."

Boss left the barrier draw ceremony shattered soon after it was revealed Mr Quickie had been overlooked. The Queenslander said he had called Valley chief executive Michael Browell on Sunday to push for Mr Quickie's inclusion.

Glen Boss pushed hard for Mr Quickie to gain a spot in the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images
Glen Boss pushed hard for Mr Quickie to gain a spot in the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images

"I called Michael to plead our case as I would have loved to see Mr Quickie in the field," Boss said.

"I thought he was a legitimate chance. A month ago he was favourite for everything.

"Now everyone has dropped off him from one bad run - which wasn't that bad.

"He then came out and should have arguably won the Caulfield Cup.

"I would have loved to have a ride in the Cox Plate, it's my favourite race.

"Anyway that's the way it is, can't change it now. It's not life or death."

Mr Quickie's managing owner Wylie Dalziel said: "We were confident he would get in or at least be first emergency. Bossy was a little bit annoyed initially."

Mr Quickie will probably run in the Moonee Valley Cup before a possible Melbourne Cup tilt.

 

THE FIELD

COX PLATE (2040m)

1. BLACK HEART BART L Smith B Rawiller (11) 59kg

2. AVILIUS J Cummings K McEvoy (7) 59kg

3. KLUGER T Takano T Berry (9) 59kg

4. HARLEM D & B Hayes & T Dabernig D Dunn (2) 59kg

5. HOMESMAN L Howley B Melham (16) 59kg

6. KINGS WILL DREAM C Waller H Bowman (17) 59kg

7. TE AKAU SHARK J Richards O Bosson (18) 59kg

8. DANCETERIA D Menuisier J Spencer (10) 59kg

9. LYS GRACIEUX Y Yahagi D Lane (15) 57kg

10. MAGIC WAND A O'Brien R Moore (3) 57kg

11. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE D & B Hayes & T Dabernig M Zahra (8) 56.5kg

12. MYSTIC JOURNEY A Trinder A Darmanin (6) 55.5kg

13. VERRY ELLEEGANT C Waller J McDonald (5) 55.5kg

14. CASTELVECCHIO R Litt C Williams (4) 49.5kg

15e. HUMIDOR C Maher & D Eustace B Shinn (14) 59kg

16e. MR QUICKIE P Stokes G Boss (12) 57.5kg

17e. GAILO CHOP M Williams D Oliver (1) 59kg

18e. DREAM CASTLE S Bin Suroor P Cosgrave (13) 59kg

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