Champion jockey could take Cox Plate mount on veteran

Craig Williams is open to the option of riding revitalised Humidor in the centenary Cox Plate on October 24 as Danny O’Brien revealed Russian Camelot had bounced through an authoritative Underwood Stakes victory without issue.

Twice a placegetter behind Winx in the Cox Plate before being overlooked for a start last year when struggling, the reborn eight-year-old has excelled this preparation since switching to Chris Waller’s stable.

His victory in the Feehan Stakes at The Valley on September 5 was followed by a fast-finishing second to Russian Camelot at Caulfield on Saturday.

While TAB immediately slashed Russian Camelot’s quote to $3.50, Williams lost no faith in the triple Group 1 winner.

Craig Williams has been impressed with Humidor. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“He’s doing so much right. He ran into a superstar (Russian Camelot),” Williams, a dual Cox Plate-winning rider, said.

“He’s racing kind, he’s not hanging in and he’s showing that great acceleration in the straight. He’s in for a cracking Cox Plate this year.”

Asked if Humidor could win a Cox Plate, Williams said: “There’s no Winx and that’s what he’s been underlining in the last two (2017-18) she was there.

“Humidor is clearly a Moonee Valley specialist – he loves that track.

“Haven’t got a confirmed ride yet. I’d be very happy to ride him.”

O’Brien said Russian Camelot, now TAB equal $8 favourite with Surprise Baby for the Melbourne Cup, would spend the next week at Thirteenth Beach before heading back to Flemington to gallop in preparation for the Caulfield Stakes on October 10.

“He’s really well, very pleased at the way he’s pulled up,” O’Brien said. “He’s come through the run without any problems.”

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The Racing League’s inaugural season will see Billy Slater’s Queensland Rogues taking on Laurie Daley’s New South Wales Tycoons, Shane Crawford’s Vic Husslers and Brittany Taylor’s Black Hearts from Western Australia.

O’Brien will send Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare and Adelaide Cup winner King Of Leogrance to Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

“Vow is really well and he goes to the Turnbull along with King Of Leogrance.”

VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound could next start in the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 10 after a moderate sixth behind Al Galayel in Friday’s JRA Cup at The Valley.

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O’Brien said Flying Award would be fully assessed by vets after failing badly in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

Phillip Stokes indicated Mr Quickie was unlikely to push on with Caulfield Cup plans after finishing seventh to Russian Camelot.

“I thought he’d run second but he didn’t. I actually don’t think he’s run the trip (1800m) out,” Stokes said.

“He’s probably better coming back to a mile. Fresh form always says he runs well and that’s something we might have to think about.”

Originally published asWilliams warming to Humidor for Plate ride

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