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Peter Snowden’s ace three-year-old Helmet has been well supported in the 2011 Cox Plate markets ahead of this Saturday’s showdown at Moonee Valley despite the champ drawing awkwardly in barrier 11.
This morning the Races.com.au team reported that Exceed And Excel colt Helmet had come up with gate 11 in the barrier draw for the $3 million Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate (2040m), which is set to run as Moonee Valley Race 8 on Saturday.
While Snowden was unfazed over the wider draw for his triple Group 1 winner, Helmet has history against him on Saturday as the only Cox Plate winner since 1995 to jump from wider that seven was the mighty Sunline who beat her rivals by seven lengths back in 2000.
The draw may not be ideal, but it hasn’t stopped the punters coming for Helmet in the Cox Plate odds at Luxbet.
Supporting Snowden’s claims that Helmet is still the best horse in the Cox Plate field even with their draw was jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
“We don’t have to lead, by no means,” McEvoy, who has to get down to 49.5kg to ride Helmet as the lightweight of the Cox Plate on Saturday, said.
“Obviously it just depends on what happens once the barriers open and what the boys do inside me.
“Obviously I’ve got to keep in mind it’s 2040 (metres), last start (the Caulfield Guineas win) was a mile, so have to ride him accordingly, but I’m just really looking forward to the race.
“It’s going to be an exciting day.”
Second favourite in the Cox Plate betting is John Bary’s New Zealand galloper Jimmy Choux.
Coming off successive elite level victories back home at Hastings, four-year-old Jimmy Choux got rolled in their track gallop at the Valley this morning by fellow Cox Plate rival Rekindled Interest.
Drawn one inside of Helmet in barrier 10, Jimmy Choux is set to be ridden by Jonathan Riddell on Saturday and has drifted in their Cox Plate price this morning out from $3.60 to $3.70.
Bary remains confident that Jimmy Choux has the ability to emulate another great Kiwi, Bonecrusher, who won the 1986 Cox Plate from gate 10.
“I’m happy to be honest,” Bary said.
“I think the stars are aligning.
“The last horse to win from barrier 10 was Bonecrusher, it’s the 25th anniversary (of their Cox Plate win).
“The All Blacks are in the World Cup final, I think it’s going to be a hell of a weekend in New Zealand.”
After overshadowing Jimmy Choux in their workout on Tuesday morning and coming up trumps with barrier three for Saturday, the Jim Conlan-trained Rekindled Interest is the only other Cox Plate acceptor along with Helmet to firm in the markets.
A proven performer at Moonee Valley having won both the Group 1 AAMI Vase (2040m) here last October and more recently saluting in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over the mile on September 10, Rekindled Interest has shortened dramatically in from $12 to $9 in the Cox Plate odds at Luxbet.
Following the top three Cox Plate fancies are then the Michael Moroney-trained Glass Harmonium and last-start Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer both paying $12; another Kiwi galloper Lion Tamer ($13); and at $15 Gai Waterhouse’s Caulfield Stakes hero Descarado and the Peter Moody-trained King’s Rose who came up trumps with barrier two.
The latest Cox Plate odds that are available through Luxbet can be found below.
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2011 Cox Plate Odds
Moonee Valley Race 8 – 22/10/2011
|3||Wall Street (7)||81.00|
|4||Glass Harmonium (4)||12.00|
|5||Jimmy Choux (10)||3.70|
|7||Lion Tamer (16)||13.00|
|8||Playing God (15)||41.00|
|9||Rekindled Interest (3)||9.00|
|11||Pinker Pinker (12)||31.00|
|12||Secret Admirer (8)||12.00|
|13||King’s Rose (2)||15.00|
*Fixed Win Odds correct at time of publication – check Luxbet for updates and to bet now!
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