Cox Plate and HK Cup on Jay Peg's agenda

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2008, 12:00am

Singapore Airlines International Cup hero Jay Peg will not seek glory in Europe but will be rested and then target the Cox Plate in Melbourne and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup.

On the morning after Jay Peg had demoralised his rivals in the S$3 million (HK$17.1 million), Singapore race over 2,000 metres, trainer Herman Brown said Europe would not be in the four-year-old's best interests.

'He's done a superb job, winning the Dubai Duty Free and now in Singapore as well, but I feel it would be pushing too far to go on with him now,' Brown said.

'He'll return to Dubai and have a break, I'm sure that's the best thing for the horse right now. He'll need a total rest, both physically and mentally, and then we'll begin the build-up for Melbourne.'

Details of the assault on the late-October Tatts Cox Plate, Australia's richest weight-for-age race, have still to be worked out.

'We have spoken to the people in Melbourne and they will be getting back to us with more accurate information as far as the rules and protocols for a horse coming from Dubai,' he said.

'As soon as we have those, we'll know more about where we are heading. After the Cox Plate, the international races in Hong Kong are the next obvious target.'

Jay Peg has come from the relative obscurity of domestic racing in South Africa to become the newest big name on the world turf scene.

He was trained in South Africa by Basil Marcus, Hong Kong's seven-time champion jockey, who retired from riding at the end of the 2001-02 racing season.

When Brown and a group of investors came knocking, a substantial interest in the colt was sold and the international journey began. And although Marcus had to hand over the training to Brown, he has been trackside for each of the Group One wins in Dubai and Singapore.

'I wouldn't have missed it for the world,' Marcus said after watching Jay Peg, ridden by his younger brother Anton, bolt up by 13/4 lengths from Singapore galloper Recast in brilliant time - just 0.1 seconds outside the Kranji course record.

Meanwhile, KrisFlyer Sprint hero Takeover Target will press on to England for the Royal Ascot meeting after his brave win in the S$1 million feature, which in many ways overtook the SIA Cup as the highlight race of the meeting.

Winning jockey Jay Ford said Takeover Target was still short of peak condition and would be further improved by the win in Singapore.

The race meeting scheduled for Happy Valley tomorrow evening has been postponed out of respect for the victims of the earthquake last week in Sichuan province.