Read the comments from each of the jockeys about their rides in the 2023 Cox Plate raced at Moonee Valley on Saturday 28th October.
Winning Jockey: James McDonald
His confidence beforehand: “I showed belief. This horse is pretty special to me. I mentioned if he came to a Cox Plate he’d be a suitable horse.
“I meant what I said and credit to Peter and Danny, it takes a hell of a lot of balls to come out of Hong Kong with all the prizemoney. It is one of the best racing jurisdictions in the world and they come here and showcase their boy.
“I reckon he’s got more to come, too. He’s been bubbling. A significant amount of improvement like I thought he did (would) and he loves the bloody Valley!
Early positioning: “I was comfortable. I knew I was on the right horse I kept going ‘he’s the best horse, he’s the best horse’ so I’d ride him like it.
“I took a gamble about the 1000 (metres) or 1200. We elected to come back a spot and to the minute right now I believe that was the winning move. Giving my horse an extra length to come back.
“I let Alligator Blood near him knowing I think I can still beat him letting him out and having last crack.”
Damian Lane (Zaaki): “Super. We just had to do a little bit of extra work from the gate, as a result of that over-travelled a touch midrace, but I thought he was very brave.”
Craig Williams (Mr Brightside): “He ran tremendous, he’s an amazing horse and it’s a shame he didn’t get the photo today. The (Hayes) boys have done a great job and they were just that confident that he’d bounce back off the other day. It means a lot to us, but we just didn’t get it done today.”
Tim Clark (Alligator Blood): “He was brave in defeat, I thought we had it on the turn but he went down fighting.”
Mark Zahra (Gold Trip): “He ran well. We were tightly knit coming to the home bend, got out and obviously a bit firmer ground and coming back in trip I was never going to have the sprint but he closed off well.”
Jamie Mott (My Oberon): “I was happy with him. I would have liked to have used that gate a bit more but just didn’t step and muster quick enough. I thought he ran well.”
Ben Allen (Pinstriped): “He just pulled too hard, he raced way too brilliant, and he just ran himself on empty. You can’t be doing that in a field like that.”
Zac Purton (Fangirl): “Really good run. There wasn’t much we could do from the gate and she got to the line really well.”
Damien Oliver (Duais): “She ran a great race. I had a beautiful run, just needed one more run to open up at the top of the straight and I think she would have been fighting out the finish, but it was a great effort.”
Blake Shinn (Victoria Road): “We had a nice run, followed the winner and presented there at the 400 but he just never went on with it. On face value he was a shade disappointing.”
Zac Lloyd (Militarize): “He’s a lovely colt but just early on in the race he got overracing with all the pressure going into the first bend so we just had to come back a bit further than I would have liked, but he was strong through the line.”
Michael Dee (King Colorado): “We jumped well, went forward and tried to utilise the light weight but he just couldn’t sustain it.”
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