100th running of the W.S Cox Plate
This Saturday is the running of the 100th edition of the WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
It will be a momentous occasion celebrating a long history and also celebrating a list of absolute champions that have gone before, looking back over the century.
On the day, it looks like there will be a bit of rain about with the weather forecast estimating a fair drop of rain on the Friday leading into Saturday, which will make the state of the track very interesting.
Considering this race is the second last on the card on Saturday, we have an 8 race card held on Manikato Stakes night which is the Friday night meeting, leading into a 10 race card on Saturday.
The Cox Plate will be the nineteenth race out of twenty for the two day meet. Let’s hope the state of the track stays good all throughout and doesn’t cut up.
X0211 1. Kolding (10), 59kg, J: J McDonald, T: C J Waller, 14.00, 4.00
85123 2. Humidor (14), 59kg, J: C Williams, T: C J Waller, 21.00, 5.50
8X313 3. Fierce Impact (12), 59kg, J: L Currie, T: M Smith, 34.00, 7.50
X0450 4. Master Of Wine (1), 59kg, J: M Rodd, T: M, W & J Hawkes, 34.00, 7.50
X1112 5. Mugatoo (9), 59kg, J: J Allen, T: K A Lees, 26.00, 6.00
0X21X 6. Aspetar (3), 59kg, J: D Lane, T: R Charlton, 17.00, 4.80
2222X 7. Sir Dragonet (7), 59kg, J: G Boss, T: C Maher & D Eustace, 13.00, 3.90
X1458 8. Magic Wand (4), 57kg, J: M Zahra, T: A O’Brien, 26.00, 6.00
X5231 9. Arcadia Queen (8), 57kg, J: W Pike, T: G & A Williams, 5.50, 2.15
0X002 10. Nettoyer (13), 57kg, J: B Egan, T: Ms W Roche, 91.00, 20.00
1X212 11. Russian Camelot (15), 56.5kg, J: D Oliver T: D T O’Brien, 4.80, 1.95
X4413 12. Armory (6), 56.5kg, J: B Meltham, T: A O’Brien, 5.50, 2.15
8X211 13. Probabeel (2), 55.5kg, J: K McEvoy, T: J W Richards, 8.50, 2.90
7X423 14. Grandslam (5), 49.5kg, J: Jye McNeil, T: C Maher & D Eustace, 21.00, 5.50
21657 15. Buckhurst (11), 59kg, J: Ms J Kah, T: J O’Brien, 51.00, 10.00
The lineup for this year’s field makes it a very open race. There are a handful of European visitors who come here with a reputation mixed in with the locals plus one New Zealander.
I don’t believe there’s an out-and-out favourite as there has been the last couple of years with Winx or So You Think. It all boils down to which horse turns up on the day with their game face on.
The great surprise is to see a three-year-old called Grandslam take his place in the field.
This horse only has a benchmark 64 win behind it, though it did run third in the Caulfield Guineas behind Ole Kirk two weeks ago and is a frontrunner. Are we going to see a repeat of Shamus Award from a few years ago?
Of the locals, topweight Kolding looks ominous but he’s racing against some gun horses this time around, not a bunch of locals. But still, I’d have him in my top 4 picks without a doubt based on what he has done in the last 2 years of racing. A very good horse.
Russian Camelot had been the pre-race favourite for a number of months now but his bubble burst in the Caulfield Stakes and I’m thinking he won’t be the favourite come Saturday. Keep safe though, multiples and exotics should be considered.
Jockey William Pike is on a roll at the moment and he’s on West Australian mare Arcadia Queen who has also come into the frame with some strong form of late. Not exactly an authority over 2000 metres, she’s only run at the distance once but there are some compelling reasons to keep her in mind for Saturday. Her latest win in the Caulfield Stakes to defeat Russian Camelot was impressive.
Kiwi horses have fared well in this race over the years and Probabeel is another contender who could potentially join the list. A last-start Epsom Handicap winner, she has Kerrin McEvoy on board but he’s never won this race so that could be a bit of a bogey. Hoping to go one or two better than her stablemate Te Akau Shark who finished third last year.
Of the overseas gallopers, I prefer Armory ahead of Magic Wand, Aspetar and Sir Dragonet (the latter is staying on in Australia after changing ownership). Armory has the best potential of the four, and has recent form around Magical (1), Ghaiyyath (2) and Sottsass (4) in the Irish Champion Stakes (12 September), where he finished third (66/1 odds). Sottsass then went on to win the Prix de l’arc deTriomphe three weeks later (Oct 4th), defeating champions Enable and Stradavarius in the process.
Fierce Impact, Nettoyer, Humidor and Russian Camelot will come in by one barrier stall with the expected scratching of the emergency Buckhurst.
May the best horse win.
In three: Armory, Probabeel, Kolding,