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More Joyous - at Rosehill Gardens on April 2, 2011 in Sydney, Australia

More Joyous: has wide draw for Cox Plate on Saturday

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Wide gate for More Joyous in Cox Plate

Australia: Gai Waterhouse stunned the Melbourne racing crowd when she got first choice on stalls position for star mare More Joyous in Saturday's Cox Plate - and promptly selected gate 11 of 14.

An inside draw is usually considered a pre-requisite at Moonee Valley, home of Australasia's premier weight-for-age contest - and Waterhouse later plumped for gate seven for top three-year-old Pierro.

Eight-time Group 1 winner More Joyous, the mount of Nash Rawiller, was the first name out of the hat and Waterhouse went for 11, the gate from which Pinker Pinker scored in 2011.

"It'll be very much a tactical race and I suppose I didn't want her getting too cluttered up because there are a few squeeze barriers there," said the trainer, who has a third runner, Proisir, in barrier ten.

Waterhouse added: "I've got three horses in it, completely different types of horses and I advised my owners where I felt they should be."

However, reports suggests More Joyous's colourful owner John Singleton was anything but happy with his trainer's bold move.

Singleton told News Ltd he would have taken drastic action had the trainer been anyone but Waterhouse.

"I love Gai but this is bloody madness," said the owner. "If this was a normal race and not the Cox Plate, the horse would be scratched and the trainer sacked.

"I instructed my racing manager Duncan Grimley to tell Gai to get barrier four to six if possible. Gai didn't need to pick that barrier. It's absolutely ridiculous, no one in the world thinks this is a good barrier."

Pierro (Corey Brown), who remains favourite, is bidding to emulate So You Think, who took the Plate as a three-year-old in 2009.

However, his rivals will include Black Caviar's half-brother All Too Hard (Chris Munce), who inflicted Pierro's first career defeat two weeks ago in the Caulfield Guineas.

Former British-trained pair Green Moon and Glass Harmonium will also line up for the Plate.


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