Armory ready to fire in the Cox Plate
Aidan O’Brien’s right-hand man in Australia, T J Comerford, has assessed Amory’s form going into the Cox Plate as being superior to that of the stable’s 2014 race winner Adelaide.
Armory boasts strong international form lines and heads into Saturday’s race after finishing third in the Group One Irish Champion Stakes last month.
“At his last start he had Magical and Ghaiyyath in front of him and the Arc winner Sottsass was fourth,” Comerford said.
“He was also a three-year-old taking on the older horses. That seems better form.”
Comerford said that Armory, who has started just 11 times, was improving with racing.
“He’s doing everything right. His form alone, his last couple of runs have been very good and his form has stacked up from Group Three to a Group One,” Comerford said.
O’Brien won the 2014 Cox Plate with Adelaide, who was also a three-year-old to northern hemisphere time.
Armory is equal second favourite for the Cox Plate behind Russian Camelot and will be ridden by Ben Melham.
Comerford said he would prefer Armory on top of the ground but a wet track wouldn’t worry him.
The stable will also be represented in the race by top-class mare Magic Wand, who finished fourth in last year’s renewal.
He said they would be concerned if the track became too wet for her as she needed firm going.
Comerford said Magic Wand was a better horse than last year and the only blot on her form was her last-start eighth at The Curragh in the Blandford Stakes.
“I think she’s a massive improver but it depends on the ground. She’s got a lot better form than last year and she’s improved all the time,” he said.
He pointed to her fourth in the Eclipse Stakes three starts ago behind Ghaiyyath, Enable and Japan as proof of her credentials.
Comerford said if no other runner wanted to lead then Magic Wand, who will be ridden by Mark Zahra, would take it up.
“If someone wants to make the running they can make the running and she can sit close. If no one wants to go forward we would and also Armory will go forward,” he said.
“If it’s a truly run race they’ll both be in the finish.”