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Favourite To Have Cox Plate Credentials Tested In France
Qatar Racing stable-mates Arod (Teofilo) and Lightning Spear (Pivotal) will put their Melbourne spring carnival credentials to the test when they line up in the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois (1600m) at Deauville on Sunday, reports Racing.com. Both Arod and Lightning Spear have been nominated for the Cox Plate in October, although Sheikh Fahad's racing manager David Redvers says Arod is the more likely of the duo to target the Moonee Valley feature with Lightning Spear likely to head towards a race such as the Gr1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington. The pair met in the Gr2 Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot on 11 July with Arod getting the better of his previously undefeated stable-mate by 1.5-lengths before franking that form when finishing a close second to French ace Solow in the Gr1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. Redvers said a trip to Australia would hinge on how Arod and Lightning Spear performed at their next starts. "It very much depends what happens on Arod's next run," Redvers said. "We could have all sorts of big plans for him but we need him to get that European Group 1 in the bag before we could think about Australia. If it pours with rain at Deauville then he wouldn't run but hopefully he'll go." He added: "We've always thought that the Cox Plate would be an ideal race for him, but we'll wait and see." As for lightning Spear, Redvers said of the lightly raced son of Pivotal: "He and Lightning Spear are our best milers and he's a very good horse in his own right. There is a possibility he could run in the Marois, even though it's a big step up for a horse who was second in a Group 2." He added: "Sheikh Fahad likes to have runners in Australia and he could run in something like the Emirates Stakes." Arod currently shares favouritism for the Cox Plate with Contributer, Criterion and Pornichet at $11.