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Avilius to be aimed at Cox Plate

Godolphin’s in-form stayer Avilius is set to continue his spring campaign in the G1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday, 27 October.

Trainer James Cummings confirmed on Tuesday that Avilius would not follow the Caulfield Cup path to the G1 Melbourne Cup, choosing instead to line up at weight-for-age over the Valley’s 2040m course.

Avilius made it four-from-four in Australia with a determined win in last weekend’s G3 Bart Cummings at Flemington that provided him with both an automatic Melbourne Cup start and provided confidence among his training team of his potential to run out 3200m. 

“He now has his first victory over a staying distance and under a lot of pressure he was able to prove he could still perform and show that turn of foot despite a genuine and tough pace throughout,” Cummings said.

“We can now give the horse three weeks to the Cox Plate and if we’re lucky enough to gain a start in that race, then he’ll be perfect for the Melbourne Cup.

“We feel that the best progression for Avilius is to head to the Cox Plate and we won’t be accepting in the Caulfield Cup.