Sir Dragonet beat his former stablemate Armory to land the 100th Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Moonee Valley this morning. The favourite Russian Camelot finished in third.
The winning four-year-son of Camelot was second to Magical in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh in June. Sir Dragonet is now trained jointly by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and was previously handled by Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle. Ozzie Kerr bought the colt from the Coolmore partners Ozzie Kerr last August.
This morning’s victory was a first Ladbrokes Cox Plate for former jump jockey Ciaron Maher, who has previously won four Grand Annual Steeplechases.
Even though he hadn’t won since the 2019 Chester Vase, Sir Dragonet was sent off at 13-2 for the 10-furlong weight-for-age Group 1.
Sir Dragonet broke slowly
Though Sir Dragonet broke slowly from stall 6, Boss found himself towards the rear of midfield for much of the AUD$5 million 14-runner contest.
Grandslam led until just before the home bend with Russian Camelot (5/2f) moving into contention. The favourite briefly led two furlongs out, with Irish challenger Armory (13/2) looking comfortable.
Glen Boss moved Sir Dragonet off the rail as they entered the home straight and the former Ballydoyle inmate powered clear to win by a comfortable length-and-a-half. Aidan O’Brien’s Armory outstaying the Irish-bred Russian Camelot for the runner-up spot.
Hugh Bowman was the intended rider for Sir Dragonet. When he got suspended Glen Boss was called in to replace him.
Boss said after winning his fourth Cox Plate:
“This is unbelievable. I couldn’t have scripted the run any better. He was up for the task.”
Joseph O’Brien’s Buckhurst, who only got into the race yesterday on the withdrawal of Magic Wand, finished 10th.
Sir Dragonet’s Ladbrokes Cox Plate now guarantees him a place in the Melbourne Cup on 2 November.
This morning’s result was a victory for Coolmore as the first three horses are by the Tippperary stud’s stallions. The winner and third are by Camelot, while Armory, the runner-up is by Galileo.