Cox Plate: Moonee Valley 2040m
|Sat 26 Oct 2024
The Cox Plate is the championship of Australasian racing, held in the cauldron-like atmosphere of Moonee Valley over the unique 2040m course. The history of the race is littered with champions that have stamped themselves all time greats, from Phar Lap twice in the 1930’s, Tranquil Star and Flight twice each in the 40’s, Rising Fast in the 50’s, Tulloch and Rising Fast (twice) in the 60’s, Kingston Town with his famous threepeat from 1980-82, and of course the 1990’s and 2000’s when the who’s who of racing seemed to be winning it every year – Better Loosen Up, Super Impose, Octagonal, Saintly, Might And Power, Sunline twice, Northerly twice, Makybe Diva and So You Think twice. Then of course came the great mare Winx, winning four consecutive Cox Plate’s from 2015-18.
Internationals have started to make their mark either side of the Winx years, with Adelaide winning in 2014, Lys Gracieux in 2019, Sir Dragonet in 2020 and State of Rest in 2021. It’s a truly world class race, that has all fans of the sport glued to their seat for two minutes each October.
2023 COX PLATE PREVIEW
Alligator Blood gets the chance to control the race from a perfect draw, while Zaaki will press forward too. Mr Brightside will certainly hold a position from an inside draw, Romantic Warrior wants a box seat position and James McDonald should be able to make that happen, while My Oberon could sit second or third pair from a kind gate. The flies in the ointment will be Militarize and King Colorado – they may want to make use of their light weights and also find a position near the speed.
Duais, Pinstriped, Fangirl and Gold Trip will be ridden patiently and hope they overdo it upfront, but if not we could see a repeat of 2005 and Makybe Diva’s famous “wall of horses” with horses taking off early, and Gold Trip would be the one most likely to make that work in his favour. Victoria Road was slowly away in his Group 1 win, and could end up awkwardly placed if he does so again here.
There’s a strong case to say Gold Trip could be the best horse in this race, he’s had a run at the Valley already this prep, and he’ll be strong at the end of 2040m when a few in the field are yet to be proven at it.
If Alligator Blood produces the same performance on Saturday as he did two weeks ago when a dominant winner of the Caulfield Stakes, he’ll be right in the race.
Romantic Warrior is one of six horses in the field that hasn’t raced at Moonee Valley before, and mounting yard judges as well as the stable have said the horse will improve significantly from the Turnbull. The barrier draw will give him a good chance to assume a box seat position and have no excuses.
Mr Brightside gets the chance run out a strong 2040m now, and was perhaps looking for it last start. He’s certainly a better horse than he was last spring, and the extra year of training should help him too.
Selections: 1.Gold Trip 2.Alligator Blood 3.Romantic Warrior 4.Mr Brightside
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds
Past Winners Of The Cox Plate
|State of Rest
|Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
|So You Think