Heart Of Dreams is revved up and ready to give the Cox Plate an almighty shake at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The son of Glenlogan Park sire Show A Heart has had a preparation aimed specifically at peaking tomorrow and trainer Mick Price is very confident he has him rarin’ to go.
Price says the classy four year-old should have no excuses if he is beaten. “Heart Of Dreams has had everything go right this time in. He’s in terrific shape. He’s healthy and everything is spot on with him. He has drawn to get the run of the race and should give them something to run down in the straight.”
Heart Of Dreams rounded out his Cox Plate preparation with an unlucky second behind Cox Plate favourite Whobegotyou in the Yalumba Stakes at his first run at 2000m but Price took plenty of positives out of the defeat.
“I reckon the Yalumba answered the question of him getting the trip,” Mick said. “There was lots of conjecture about the ride in the race, but he definitely ran out the 2000m and was taking ground off Whobegotyou in the final stages.
“He had to make a long run from the back of the field while the other bloke got a lovely run in behind the leaders and then had a gap appear at just the right time.
“Whobegotyou deserves to be the favourite, however, we have beaten him twice before and I would like to stick my neck out and say we are going to do it again. We are ready!”
Jockey Craig Newitt is just as bullish about the chances of Heart Of Dreams as his trainer is and he can’t wait for the barriers to open.
“I know it is a Cox Plate,” Newitt said. “And I know these are the best weight-for-age horses in the country, but I can’t remember feeling this confident going into a big race.
“Heart Of Dreams is just hitting his top and, if the race turns into a battle up the straight, I know my bloke has the heart, ability and will to win. He is going super and I wouldn’t swap him for any other horse in the race.”
Owner and breeder Larry Bartle has really enjoyed the week leading up to the Cox Plate. “It has just been fantastic,” Larry said. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all week.
“Just to have a runner in this race is the culmination of a lifetime of dreaming. But to have one that I have so much faith in, and one that has such an undeniable chance of winning, well, it is hard to describe my feelings.
“This horse has never run a bad race in his life. He has such a great fighting spirit and, if he gets the chance to eyeball something, then I am confident he can break them.
“All we want is a trouble free run. If we win, then that is super. If not, we will be proud of him anyway.”