As the Cox Plate draws closer, connections of invited galloper Arod are growing in confidence.
Owned by Qatar Racing and trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, Arod has had a trouble-free preparation since his arrival in Melbourne on October 3 and has come up with a perfect barrier draw in five for Saturday’s 2040m race at Moonee Valley.
Also boosting his owner’s optimism is Arod’s European form around outstanding galloper Solow.
Arod finished a last-start second to Solow in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July and the winner franked the performance with a Group One victory at Ascot on Saturday.
Geoffrey Faber, the Australian representative for Qatar Racing, said the five-year-old had settled in perfectly at the Werribee quarantine centre and was ready to produce a big performance on Saturday.
“Ideally, if we could have written the script we would like gate five or a draw inside and that’s exactly what’s happened,” Faber said.
“Physically, the horse arrived in Australia in terrific shape and he was fit when he got here.
“(Jockey) Craig (Williams) has ridden him twice now and the trainer arrives for the race on Friday morning.
“We go into the race with our confidence levels relatively high.”
Williams ventured to Werribee on Wednesday morning to gallop Arod for the second time and said the son of Teofilo was a lazy trackworker who switched on come race day.
Faber has no concerns about the horse handling the Moonee Valley circuit as Arod has scored on the tricky Epsom track in England.
“He whistled around Epsom, downhill and up dale, and with that camber they can handle anything,” he said.
“Everything you want to be in place is in place now.
“We’ve just got to arrive at Moonee Valley in one piece on Saturday. It’s in the lap of the gods.”