Presvis a Cox Plate target

MELBOURNE: Cox Plate organisers will have a close eye on Presvis when he runs in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free at Meydan in the early hours of Sunday (AEDT).

The Luca Cumani-trained Presvis is one of the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s (MVRC) potential targets for this year’s Australasian weight-for-age championship.

The seven-year-old was being courted for last year’s Cox Plate (2040m) but any hopes of a southern hemisphere campaign were aborted before they began after a lacklustre run in the Singapore International Airlines Cup (2000m) last May.

On Sunday he will strive to improve on his luckless 11th in last year’s Dubai Duty Free and a solid hit out on Monday morning has Cumani convinced he can.

“That was Presvis’ final workout ahead of race and I was perfectly happy with the way things went,” England-based, Italian-born Cumani told Racing Victoria Online.

If Presvis fires in the Duty Free, to be run at 2.45am (AEDT), he would be a Cox Plate drawcard and Racing Victoria’s international scout Leigh Jordon would again highlight the advantages of a Victorian campaign to his connections in Dubai.

Cumani has become a spring carnival regular in recent years, experiencing near misses in the Melbourne Cup with Purple Moon and Bauer.

And the Cox Plate lure will have increased thanks to the MVRC’s new initiative to entice international contenders to the race.

The MVRC last month announced it would meet all horse transport, accommodation and travel allowance costs for owner, trainer, jockey and stable staff for elite international contenders, a category in which Presvis would fall, particularly if he fires in Dubai.

Cumani thinks the son of Sakhee is well-placed to improve on last year’s effort.

He heads into the race in fine form, having won the Group Two Al Rashidiya by more than four lengths in January before a narrow third to Wigmore Hall and Poet’s Voice in the Jebel Hatta three weeks ago.

“He is a year older now and it is hard to say if he is still as good as he was but I have been happy with his two runs to date this year,” Cumani said.

“The draw on Saturday is irrelevant to him as he is going to be last out of the stalls but I hope, with luck in running, that he will have every chance.”

The feature event, the $10 million Dubai World Cup (2000m), will be run at 4.15am (AEDT).

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