October 22, 2009

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Two of the younger Cox Plate runners are topping the betting markets and have been all spring, but as the race approaches punters are starting to look for more value in other entries.

Whobegotyou and Heart Of Dreams are been positioned as the two to beat this year, as the four-year-olds have displayed excellent form and fitness this preparation in what have been hassle-free campaigns for both the short-priced Cox Plate hopefuls. Whobegotyou is the clear favourite with the bookies with odds at around $2.90 and Heart Of Dreams is second favourite at $6.

But it is the older entrants further down the betting markets that are starting to attract interest as their longer-priced odds, returning great dividends if successful, are drawing more punters.

Looking back at the recent history of the $3million WS Cox Plate and the winning trends, it becomes obvious that the race has been dominated by the older, more experienced and proven performing horses. Seemingly it takes a certain race awareness and demonstrated weight-for-age ability to succeed in the Moonee Valley race.

Since 2005, no horse has won the Cox Plate aged under six-years-old. Last year, six-year-old Maldivian and runner-up seven-year-old Zipping managed to beat home a mare half their age, three-year-old Samantha Miss. In 2007 El Segundo, then six-years-old and now the only previous Cox Plate victor to make the final field this year, was victorious defeating a much younger set of competitors. Fields Of Omagh claimed Cox Plate victory in 2006 aged nine and the year before, champion mare Makybe Diva took out the race aged seven.

Punters are starting to realise that it might be worth backing some of the older entries with proven experience on the testing Moonee Valley track. The unique shape and tightness of the course means that any winner of the Cox Plate will have had at least a few good runs on the track beforehand, as was the case with the last four victors. So it comes as little surprise that Whobegotyou has raced up the betting markets as the local with form at Moonee Valley, having won all four of his races there.

However, Whobegotyou still has to beat a high quality field of competitors yet, including El Segundo. Currently at odds of around $15, putting an Each Way bet on this old gelding may just provide better value than backing the very short-priced favourite as he has won the race before and is now in excellent health and condition after overcoming injury and flying under the radar.

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