Setback for Prowess, 2023 Cox Plate unlikely

Untapped New Zealand mare Prowess has suffered a setback and is now long odds to contest this year’s Cox Plate, for which she was prominent in pre-post betting.

Co-trainer Roger James revealed on Tuesday morning that a minor knock that evolved into an abscess required a medical procedure, which took place on Monday and would necessitate up to 10 days without work.

James said it was now ‘unlikely’ she would be at The Valley for the $5 million Cox Plate (2040m) on October 28.

“They’re hoping a week to 10 days out of exercise could be the best-case scenario probably,” James told RSN927 of the vet’s prognosis.

“It’s pretty disappointing for all concerned but it’s not career-threatening.

“The four-year-old (campaign) of their spring year can be pretty hard times when you’re taking on the very best company and sometimes these things are meant to be.

“There’s certainly nothing looking back that we could have done differently, or changed in the way the way we treated it, it’s just one of those things.”

Prowess announced herself to Australian racing fans with a dominant win in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 25.

That was the fifth win in a row for the daughter of Proisir, whose headline success in her homeland came the start prior against the older horses in the Group 1 Bonecrusher Stakes (2050m).

While the Cox Plate is now unlikely, James – who trains in partnership with Robert Wellwood – is hopeful Prowess could yet appear in a Group 1 in Melbourne before the year is out.

“We’re hopeful that we might get over there later, there’s always a race like the Matriarch or perhaps the old Mackinnon if everything went 100 percent right,” James said.

The $3 million Group 1 Champions Stakes (2000m), formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes, will be run at Flemington on November 11, the same day as the $300,000 Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m).

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