Trainer Danny O’Brien does not see Russian Camelot stepping out for his first start at The Valley being a concern when the northern hemisphere-bred galloper runs in the Cox Plate.
Russian Camelot is the $3.50 favourite for the $5 million Group 1 race at The Valley next Saturday, despite being defeated in his last start at Caulfield at the hands of Arcadia Queen in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 10.
Arcadia Queen is the $4.50 second favourite with TAB ahead of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Armory at $6.
A four-time winner from eight starts, Russian Camelot is yet to race at The Valley, but the colt has had ample experience at the track.
Russian Camelot was at The Valley on Saturday to gallop, the last time he will visit the track ahead of the Cox Plate.
“He hasn’t raced there before but I reckon he’s been there six or seven times now,” O’Brien said.
“So it’s certainly not new to him and he’s got a fair handle on The Valley.
“He went to The Valley on Saturday morning, he had a nice gallop there ahead of the Cox Plate.”
O’Brien said Russian Camelot had rebounded out of his second placing at Caulfield in great shape and had progressed strongly ahead of Saturday’s work-out at The Valley.
And O’Brien said Russian Camelot will have a normal week at Flemington ahead of Saturday’s weight-for-age feature.
“He’s been really good,” O’Brien said.
“He didn’t have a really hard run in the Caulfield Stakes last week so he’s been bouncing all week.
“He’ll gallop at Flemington on Tuesday morning on the course proper and then he’ll be ready to go.”
The Valley will be open for gallops on Tuesday for horses racing at the track on Friday night and Saturday, however the large crowd attending in previous years will not be in attendance.
The Cox Plate field, and the field for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes on Friday night, will be finalised on Tuesday morning with the barrier draws also to be conducted.
Russian Camelot and Damien Oliver, picture Racing Photos