Leading owner-breeder John Singleton “was never tempted to send Sydney supermare More Joyous to Royal Ascot” because “he had an even more audacious plan in mind” reported The Daily Telegraph.
Singleton “wants to set the champion for the rare Gr1 Cox Plate-Gr1 Melbourne Cup double”. He confirmed: “We will nominate for the Melbourne Cup on the basis you need to keep dreaming in this business. Say she were to run in the Cox Plate & win it easily; then you would have to consider the Melbourne Cup. Who is to say she won’t run 3200m?”
Only 6 horses have won the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double: Nightmarch (1929), Phar Lap (1930), Rising Fast (1954), Saintly (1996) & Makybe Diva (2005); in addition Might And Power won the 1997 Melbourne Cup before returning a year later to win the 1998 Cox Plate.
At her most recent start, 5YO mare More Joyous (More Than Ready-Sunday Joy, by Sunday Silence) notched her 8th Gr1 success with a dominant front-running victory in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney on April 28 to take her record to 19 wins (also including 9 Gr2 victories) & 2 placings from 26 starts for $4,279,650 earnings.
Singleton declared: “Before the race they all said the Queen Elizabeth was a better field than any Cox Plate in the last 10 years & she toyed with them. So, if she was to win the Cox Plate, and we all know a lot can go wrong between now & that race, then maybe we will look at the Melbourne Cup. Look, it is probably 1000-1 but you would hate not to at least give yourself the option to think about it.” Singleton also pointed to More Joyous’s breeding (her dam Sunday Joy was an Oaks winner) to suggest she “may possess some latent staying talent” noting: “Everyone thought More Joyous wouldn’t go 2000m before the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but she did it on her ear. Sometimes we don’t give these horses to chance to show if they can stay. I can’t see any reason why Black Caviar wouldn’t run 1600m or even 2000m, but Peter Moody seems happy to keep winning all the sprint races.”