Cox happy as big clash looms

Sat 13 Oct 2012

Clive Cox was reassured by an advance inspection of the ground at Newmarket as Reckless Abandon attempts to give the trainer his first domestic Group One in the Middle Park Stakes.

In a race which looks just as exciting as the Dewhurst on the same card, Cox has seen his regular jockey Adam Kirby opt to partner Marco Botti's Moohaajim instead of his unbeaten colt.

But the Lambourn trainer has been able to call upon the French maestro Gerald Mosse, who rode Reckless Abandon when Kirby was suspended for the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte and kept the mount when he finished ahead of Moohaajim in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville.

Cox said: "I was very relieved when I walked the course on Thursday. There's a drying breeze in Newmarket and I hope it stays that way without too much rain. It's a big day for us and I've been very happy with him since the Morny. He's had plenty of time between his races and he's in good order.

"I hope the dip won't be a problem to him as he is very well balanced. It is the first time he will encounter anything like that on the track so we don't honestly know, but he handles and manages himself very well."

Moohaajim finished just over two lengths behind at Deauville on what was only his second start after a victory in an Ascot maiden. The son of Cape Cross did not enjoy the clearest of runs that day and went on to post a most impressive victory in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

Botti said: "He won his maiden well and because of lack of options we had to go straight for a Group One in the Morny. It was a tough race for him and things didn't quite pan out as we wanted. He ran a good race, didn't finish far away in fifth, and we thought he would improve again."

Botti chose the Middle Park over six furlongs ahead of the Dewhurst at seven, and said: "He has shown speed at Newbury. I wasn't concerned about stepping up to seven, but he would face Dawn Approach in the Dewhurst over a stiff seven, so it was a sensible plan.

"He ran well and travelled well at six at Newbury. Obviously Reckless Abandon will be the favourite, he's unbeaten and done nothing wrong this year, but we weren't beaten far in France despite not getting the best run and we hope to give him a race."

Kirby, who had to make the choice between his two strongest stables, said: "He (Moohaajim) didn't get a fair crack of the whip in France. Let's just hope it's a clean-run race and we'll find out who is the best. They are two completely different horses, but both very special. It should be a really exciting race."

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