By Simon Jackson.
Clive Cox intends to target the top mile races with Kodi Bear who makes his comeback in the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Kodi Bear is set to face a maximum of 17 rivals in the £350,000 race over the straight mile at Newbury that is the feature race of the two-day Lockinge meeting on May 13 and 14.
The son of Kodiac won three of his five races last term, scoring in Listed company before bagging Group 2 and Group 3 prizes. The two defeats were both at Group 1 level and Cox is hopeful that his charge can successfully step up to the top flight.
“He is in peak condition now and I am very happy and pleased with him. Obviously, coming back in a Group 1 is a big ask and some of his opponents have had a run already,” Cox said at an organised stable visit on Tuesday.
“We did not feel it was necessary to run with a penalty in the bet365 Mile at Sandown – he has had a couple of racecourse gallops at Kempton Park.
“I hope he is there to do a job at Newbury on Saturday and we have a bright season ahead of us. We all believe he is a Group 1 horse and potentially he is the best miler we have ever had.
“It is great for his owner Olive Shaw, whose late husband Dennis was one of my biggest supporters when I started training.
“Kodi Bear is versatile as regards the ground – it was very firm at Windsor and quick at Ascot and there are no concerns about softer ground as it was quite soft at Goodwood.
“It is a very interesting race and Gerald Mosse will ride him again. Gerald has done nothing wrong on him and we have a very good association with him as well as Adam Kirby.
“Gerald has won a Group 2 on Kodi Bear and that has set the tone. Gerald has an amazing record for us.
“Kodi Bear is quite laid-back at home, though he can have a buck and a kick, which is why we have taken him to Kempton a couple of times.
“There are a lot of top mile targets for him this year and I hope he can get off on the right leg on Saturday.”
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