Setback Puts Cox Plate In Doubt For Prowess

A tilt at the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) has been put in doubt for Prowess following a setback this week.

The Group One-winning mare underwent a procedure on Monday to drain an abscess, which has put a spanner in the works for her spring preparation.

“She had a little infection in her hock and there was a bit of puss, so that had to be lanced to let it drain out,” said Robert Wellwood, who trains in partnership with Roger James.

“She will be back in work next Monday all going well, it just puts our plans back a little bit.

“We won’t get to the Memsie (Gr.1, 1400m), which was our initial kick-off plan. We will just have to play it by ear once we do get back on track and see where we are at.”

The Cox Plate was earmarked as her major spring aim at The Valley on October 28, and while the Cambridge trainers haven’t ruled out the A$5million race completely, they believe it is now unlikely.

“I think the Cox Plate is probably going to come up too quick,” Wellwood said. “You need everything to go right. We’re not saying it’s ruled out, but I would say it is very doubtful.

“There is the Champions Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) on the last day of the Flemington Carnival. There are a lot of races back here over the summer and autumn in Sydney, not all is lost.”

Prowess had a standout three-year-old season, winning five of her seven starts in New Zealand, including the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2050m), Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), Gr.2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) and Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m), before heading to Sydney to win the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).

She kicked off her four-year-old season with a trial win over 900m earlier this month at Te Rapa, and as a result of her medical procedure will now miss her scheduled trial at Taupo on Wednesday.

However, Kingsclere Stables will still head south and be represented by Paragon in the Poverty Bay Turf Club 3YO C&G (1100m).

The Embellish gelding finished runner-up in both of his starts as a juvenile, including the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m), and Wellwood is looking forward to kicking-off his three-year-old campaign this week.

“He is well. He comes up in a pretty nice field and is probably a little bit vulnerable not having trialled,” he said.

“We would expect him to run a nice race but improve off anything he does tomorrow.”

– NZ Racing Desk

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