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Mull Of Killough not here for the sun
Mike Hedge
17:25 AEST Mon Oct 21 2013

To find that you are a 100-1 chance in a race you have travelled across the world to compete in is bound to be less than encouraging.

But for expatriate Australian trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, there are still good reasons to be in Melbourne with her Cox Plate runner Mull Of Killough.

"For a start, if he was with an Australian trainer he wouldn't be 100-1," Chapple-Hyam said.

"And you have Fiorente who is right up there in the top few chances. My horse's form in England is better than his was when he came here."

Chapple-Hyam is aware there isn't much room for "ifs" in racing, and she isn't relying on them to justify her horse's presence in the race acknowledged as Australia's best.

She also believes she has a horse who can run a respectable race.

Mull Of Killough was invited to run in Saturday's Cox Plate on the back of some respectable form at home and a couple of encouraging performances internationally.

This time last year he won successive races at Newmarket, including the Group Three Darley Stakes (1800m), and he resumed with another Group Three win over the same course and distance in April.

"That is very good form, and he's a very decent horse," Chapple-Hyam said.

"He's only the price he is because we are under the radar."

The trainer points to Mull Of Killough's run in the Singapore International in May as a strong guide to his chances on Saturday.

In that race he raced wide and his saddle slipped and he still finished a good fifth to the Hong Kong runner Military Attack.

He then ran a handy second in a Group Three at Ascot in July before his last-start eighth of 13 on a track that was too firm in the Group One Arlington Million in Chicago in August.

Mull Of Killough is to be ridden by Steven Arnold in the Cox Plate and he will be under clear instructions not to ride for the sort of luck an outsider normally needs, but to be in the hunt.

"On a turning track like Moonee Valley you've got to be there," the trainer said.

"You can't be giving them a start."

For Chapple-Hyam the trip to Melbourne is something of a homecoming, as it will be for her father, the former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock who is one of the nine part-owners of Mull Of Killough.

Peacock is flying in from Texas for the Cox Plate, probably with a more realistic understanding than most of what to expect.

He was the part-owner of the short-priced 1974 Melbourne Cup favourite Leilani who finished second to her stablemate Think Big.


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