Veteran trainer Stephen McKee has a high opinion of talented stayer, What’s the Story.
“I feel he’s good enough to take on the Aussies at the top level and we have centred our spring plans on the Cox Plate as the main target for him.”
Stephen should know. He’s accomplished the rare feat twice with the imperious Sunline. What’s The Story, a Savabeel entire, shares similar stroppy traits to that champion.
This Saturday is the first chapter in What’s the Story’s Australian spring campaign when he races at Ruakaka in a rating 85, 1400 metres – well short of his best.
Says Stephen, “It’s not about winning on Saturday, although that would be a bonus, but just about getting him to relax and show us his best work in the home straight so we know he is on target.”
With no rain forecast, the track is likely to improve from the current Dead 5 to Dead 4 which will suit.
If he races well up north and comes through it sound he flies to Melbourne on Wednesday where his quest to make the illustrious Cox Plate field has been carefully mapped out.
On the 24th of September there is an open handicap over 1700 metres at Caulfield worth A$90,000 and two weeks later he can compete in the Cranbourne Cup listed 2025 metres worth A$300,000 which he will need to win to go to the Cox Plate on the 22nd of October. There is also the option of the Caulfield Stakes, a Group 1 2000 metre WFA race a day earlier.
Says Racing Manager Albert Bosma, “The Cox Plate is the ultimate race for purists. It’s simply the best race in the Southern Hemisphere.”
If he gets there he will be the first Go Racing horse to achieve that which is very exciting but connections are realistic about alternatives for the horse.
“This is Plan A but if we don’t qualify there are a number of options for him over the Melbourne Cup carnival. We are planning on a long campaign until mid-November.”