Il Paradiso could be Cox Plate horse, says Brae Sokolski


“The problem with the Cups is he ran third this year but the three-year-olds have a big advantage at the weights so coming back as a four-year-old running third, he’s going to be nowhere near as well in the weights.

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“With Waller’s training method, we feel we can inject that weight-for-age turn of foot into him and there’s such a dearth of older weight-for-age horses in this country that I think it would be remiss of us to not have this objective.”

Meanwhile, Everest Stakes winner Yes Yes Yes remains on target for a tilt at Royal Ascot along with stablemate Nature Strip.

Sokolski said the three-year-old Rubick colt would have his final lead-up race in the TJ Smith Stakes before making the trip to England.

“We’ll wait until he’s into his prep and coming to hand before we make a decision but we want to tick a group 1 box with him domestically before he goes to Royal Ascot,” he said.

“The TJ Smith will be his main goal prior to heading off to the northern hemisphere but there are probably two other group 1 options leading in that are under consideration, being the Lightning Stakes in Melbourne or the Canterbury Stakes in Sydney.

Prominent owner Brae Sokolski.Credit:Eamon Gallagher

“The TJ will definitely be his final run in Australia.”

Sokolski said his understanding was that Nature Strip was more likely to race in the King Stand Stakes on the Tuesday and Yes Yes Yes would run in the Diamond Jubilee on the Saturday of the Royal Ascot carnival.

No autumn plans have been made yet for Thought Of That, while Sokolski said he didn’t have any leading two-year-olds or All-Star Mile contenders.

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“A smoky would be something like Shared Ambition first-up,” he said.

“It’s not what we’re thinking. He’d have to come into it fresh obviously, but we think the horse is fast enough to be competitive over a mile, a mile-and-a-quarter.”

The Ranvet and The BMW are more likely targets for Shared Ambition in the autumn – similarly Verry Elleegant – and not the Sydney Cup as originally planned, with eyes on next year’s Melbourne Cup.

Finche will miss the autumn and be set again for the spring handicaps, while Sokolski also has shares in two progressive European purchases – Surrey Thunder and Accountability – who have joined Waller’s stable.

In other news, the Sunshine Coast Turf Club has renamed the Sunshine Coast Guineas the Winx Guineas in honour of the champion mare.

It was Winx’s first win in the run of 33 consecutive victories before her retirement this year.

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