Torcedor remains on track to run in the Melbourne Cup.
Torcedor remains on track to run in the Melbourne Cup.

Dance to Plate in play if owners say so

AUSTRALIAN Bloodstock's Luke Murrell says German Group 1 winner ­Danceteria is an ideal Cox Plate horse, but not a definite spring visitor yet.

Murrell said it was Australian Bloodstock's preference to head to the Cox Plate, but it also had to consider part-owners from the US and Europe.

Danceteria, trained in ­England by David Menuisier, won the 2000m Grosser ­Dallmayr-Preis in Munich and firmed from $15 to $11 with Ladbrokes for the Cox Plate.

The win followed his fourth to superstar Enable in the 2000m Eclipse Stakes at Sandown earlier this month.

"The European connections want him to run there and ­target the Champion Stakes, and the American owners want him to run in the Breeders' Cup," Murrell said.

"We will go where we think we've got the best chance and can get the most money.

"We think the better race for him is the Cox Plate, but we want all the ducks to line up if we're going to do that.

Colm O'Donoghue and Torcedor (orange) combine to lead all the way to win The Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot racecourse on May 2.
Colm O'Donoghue and Torcedor (orange) combine to lead all the way to win The Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot racecourse on May 2.

"I know Adelaide won a Cox Plate and Highland Reel finished second, but they weren't a top-20 horse in ­Europe when they came over.

"He keeps improving. He didn't really handle the wet track at Munich. We think he's got a lot of improvement to come, and we think he'd be a great Cox Plate horse."

Australian Bloodstock has also bought Chief Ironside, who Mureel said was rated ­England's sixth-best miler. He will join Menuisier's stable.

"We'd look at targeting the Toorak Handicap and the Cantala with him, but obviously if he won the Toorak we'd look at the Cox Plate," Murrell said.

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Murrell said smart stayer Torcedor would return in the German St Leger on August 11 for the first of two runs before he headed to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.

Torcedor hasn't raced since his second to Stradivarius in last July's Goodwood Cup.

He was one of the favourites for last year's Melbourne Cup, but didn't come after ­suffering an infection.

Craig Williams rides Miss Iano to victory on Bletchingly Stakes Day.
Craig Williams rides Miss Iano to victory on Bletchingly Stakes Day.

WILLIAMS REVEALS PREMIER TARGET

It's job done again for Craig Williams after winning his fourth Victorian metro premiership in a row, and eighth in total. But the jockey is already planning on taking the title next season.

And, for that matter, the three seasons after that.

Williams wants to equal
or pass legendary hoops Roy Higgins and Bill Duncan, who share the record of 11 Victorian metro titles.

"That's what children or kids who get involved in the industry want to do, to have their names up in light with famous names like that when they start out," Williams said.

He sat down with his management team and family seven months ago and discussed the future and the jockeys' premiership.

"We had a big chat and we decided we'd target the record,'' Williams, 41, said.

"I'm in a position to do so. I don't have regular international commitments and, other than riding at interstate carnivals, I'm here all the time."

Williams rode 83 city winners this season, which is his best effort since 94 winners in 2006-07. He shot down the argument that there's nothing to be gained from winning the premiership as it had no monetary prize.

"If you ride enough winners, you make good money, so there is a financial reward which I worked out four years ago when I was queried about it,'' he said. "I changed my way of looking at the premiership then."

Williams loves the annual challenge of battling Damien Oliver for the premiership.

Oliver, with 10 premierships, also wants to equal or break the record.

"Damien Oliver made me ride to my best. He's a great competitor,'' Williams said.

"You're only as good as your competition.''

News Corp Australia

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