Chris Munce has often been the centre of racing attention in late October but this year it will be in Brisbane rather than Melbourne.
Not that long ago Munce would have been riding in the Group One Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday but instead he is the trainer of two fancied runners at Eagle Farm, Wicked Intent and Perplexity.
Munce is one of only seven jockeys to win Australia’s big four races – Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup, and Golden Slipper.
He won the Cox Plate on three-year-old Savabeel in 2004 and had his last ride in the race in 2012 when second on another three-year-old, All Too Hard.
“There is nothing like the Cox Plate with the crowd right on top of you. Of all the big races – it being weight for age – it is the one which relies most on tactics,” Mucne said.
“Savabeel’s trainer Graeme Rogerson wanted him ridden like (1995 winner) Octagonal, getting back and then running home. But after I went 100 metres I was in the one-one and those tactics went out the window.
“All Too Hard ran great but the winner Ocean Park was just a touch too strong.”
Munce will be glued to the television at Cox Plate time but will also attend to his stable’s horses including Wicked Intent in the DPMA Hcp (1000m) and Perplexity in the Driver Recruitement Hcp (2212m), both strong chances in open company races.
Wicked Intent was the last horse Munce rode in a feature race, the 2015 Magic Millions, and has been a mainstay of his team as a trainer.
“He has won going on $500,000 which is a top investment for the owners as he cost only $15,000,” he said.
“He hasn’t had a trial but he should be suited first up at the 1000 metres.”
Perplexity has had three runs back from a spell and was third at his latest effort at Doomben over 2020m.
“He is getting fitter and out to a distance to suit him. But he does have his share of weight,” Munce said.
“These races often come down to tactics and I am sure Ryan (Wiggins) can handle things.”
Munce, who took out his trainer’s licence in January 2015, has had a good start to this season with 14 winners at just under a 20 per cent win strike rate.
“I have about 40 horses in work including some nice two and three-year-olds. We had three winners last weekend so things are coming along well,” he said.
“At the moment my team is at two tracks (Sunshine Coast and Eagle Farm) so I will be glad to have them all under the one roof at Eagle Farm when the stables are completed.”