Dissident is looming as Peter Moody’s best chance to win the Cox Plate.
But the three-time Group One winner faces a serious examination of his credentials for the $3 million race when contests Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.
“This is probably the best field that has been assembled for the entire spring overall when you look at the quality of it,” Moody said.
“And it’s a genuine Cox Plate rehearsal.
“We need him to go there and run well and give us a positive that he’s going to run out a strong two thousand metres.
“And everything has gone well towards that.”
Dissident is one of 10 individual Group One winners in the 12-horse field.
Between them they have amassed 19 Group One victories.
Moody has achieved so much in racing but he has come up empty-handed in the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
Should Dissident win on Saturday and prove himself at 2000m, Moody said the entire would undoubtedly be his best chance yet to win one of Melbourne’s three biggest races.
Dissident has won Group Ones in the Memsie Stakes and Makybe Diva Stakes this spring to go with his Randwick Guineas success last season.
He was beaten a short half-head in the Rupert Clarke Stakes last start, dropping back in distance and giving all his rivals weight.
Dissident was sixth in the Rosehill Guineas on an unsuitable wet track in his only try at 2000m but firmer ground is expected on Saturday.
“I still want to see him do it but I have good confidence that he will run it and I take good heart from the fact Jim Cassidy, who rode him predominantly last prep, and Ben Melham who has ridden him this prep, both feel he’ll run it out strongly,” Moody said.
Dissident ($4.20) is shading Sacred Falls ($4.40) for favouritism. Fawkner is at $5.50 while Happy Trails is at $7.50.
The four are also the top four in Cox Plate betting with Fawkner and Sacred Falls sharing the top line at $6.
Six horses have won the Caulfield Stakes-Cox Plate double in the past 30 years with Ocean Park (2012) and So You Think (2010) the most recent.