The Aidan O’Brien camp says Cox Plate contender Armory has arrived in Melbourne with stronger form than the stable’s 2014 winner Adelaide.
Adelaide won the Cox Plate as a northern hemisphere three-year-old after winning three of his seven starts before beating Fawkner in the Moonee Valley showpiece six years ago.
Armory has won four of his 11 starts. Adelaide was a Group 1 winner in the US before he landed in Australia but Armory’s best result was a third behind European stars Magical and Ghaiyyath in last month’s Irish Champion Stakes.
That form stood up when the fourth horse Sottsass beat a field that included UK champion Enable, star stayer Stradivarius and top Japanese mare Deirdre in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France on October 4.
“I would say this horse has definitely better form in the book (than Adelaide),” O’Brien’s travelling foreman TJ Comerford said.
“When you have Magical and Ghaiyyath in front of you, and the Arc winner behind you, and he was only a three-year-old taking on older horses back then, he definitely seems to be better.”
William Supple on Armory before Trackwork at Werribee Racecourse on Tuesday. Photo: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Armory galloped in company with fellow Cox Plate runner Magic Wand at Werribee on Tuesday morning.
Comerford said the work showed Armory was ready to perform in Saturday’s $5 million event in which the son of Galileo has drawn barrier six.
He added the draw gave jockey Ben Melham the option to push forward on Armory in the run to the first turn while the tight Valley circuit won’t worry the stallion.
“Armory is a horse that keeps giving and he’s going everything right. We couldn’t have him any better.
“I would say Armory is the right type of horse. He’s not a big massive horse but he’s big enough and he’s very straightforward and he has a good draw as well.
“We can sit close to the pace. If nobody wants to go forward, we’ll go forward, but if not, there’s no harm.”
Armory has firmed from $6 into $5.50 in TAB’s Cox Plate market while Russian Camelot remains favourite despite drifting from $4 to $4.60 after drawing the outside gate.
Originally published asO’Brien camp: Armory superior to Adelaide
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