Top USA Horse to be Trained for Cox Plate

29 09 2006

By AAP

(MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA) – Top US turf horse Honor In War is targeting the $3 million Cox Plate with Danny O’Brien to take over his training after a 50 per cent share was sold to a consortium mainly comprised of Australians.

The eight-year-old multiple Group winner and proven weight-for-age performer will become the first US horse to race at a Melbourne spring carnival.

He has won 10 races from 36 starts and has amassed a total of $1.8 million in prizemoney, his biggest wins being the 2003 Group One Breeder’s Cup Turf Classic (1800m) at Churchill Downs and the Group Three Arlington Hcp (2000m).

“He went into quarantine today at Arlington Park in Chicago for two weeks and when that’s up he’ll be flown out and spend two weeks in quarantine at Sandown before fronting up at Moonee Valley for the Cox Plate,” said O’Brien, who hasn’t had a Cox Plate runner before.

“It’s something different. It’s probably a big essay but he’s a high-quality horse and should acquit himself well.”

The original owner, Will Wolford’s 3rd Turn Stables, will race Honor In War with the consortium led by led by Bill Benson of Emerald Thoroughbreds along with David Bernsden, CEO of letitride.com and owner of Carondelet Farm in the US who O’Brien said contacted him to train the horse.

Dean Watt‘s Dynamic Syndications, which syndicated 2004 Cox Plate winner Savabeel, is also involved.

Honor In War is currently trained in the US by Paul McGee and has an international rating of 110.

His most recent performance was a fourth in the Group Three Fall Championship (1600m) at Turfway Park on September 9.

The horse is expected to go on to the Hong Kong international meeting in December and race in Australia next autumn before going to stud here next season.

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