Avienus – 2011 Cox Plate also ran or undiscovered masterpiece?



Chances are when Avienus races in a Group event she will be big odds and it is no different in the 2011 $3m Group 1 W S Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday.

Her good runs appear to be dismissed as flukes as punters tend to play to her dark side.

Avienus has developed like a Michaelangelo sculpture, slowly and building up to something great – could Saturday be her Pieta?

2011 W S Cox Plate – Horse profile.

15 Avienus (barrier 14) 57kg

  • Six year old bay mare
  • Record: 31 starts 5 wins 7 second 2 third
  • Winning distance range 1400m to 1700m
  • Best win: 2010 Group 2 W H Stocks Stakes 1600m at Moonee Valley
  • Trainer: Mark Webb, Cranbourne
  • Jockey, Brad Rawiller.
  • Latest price Luxbet $61.

It took Avienus seven starts before she won a Mornington maiden on a heavy track.

She progressed without either fanfare or tremendous success from mare’s races, city races, then Listed Races, Group 3, Group 2 to the elite Group 1s – and now a second chance in a Cox Plate.

Her record of five wins from 31 starts tells us she is far from a champion, but she has won at Group 2 level at Moonee Valley and placed at Group 1 level at 2000m at her latest start in the Caulfield Stakes when second to Descarado.

That run above the rest suggests that Avienus, though thought of as just that honest mare, has more than a flukers hope of becoming the 2011 W S Cox Plate winner.

Coming from worse than midfield she did all but pick up Descarado who led and held on.

Avienus was the best run in the race and only one of a few horses to had made ground in the straight all day.

Her strength is her quick turn of foot that trainer Mark Webb says lasts for 400m.

She has drawn wide in barrier 14 for the 2011 Cox Plate which will take some skill by jockey Brad Rawiler to get her into a nice cover early.

Avienus finished sixth in last year’s Cox Plate beaten a tad less than five lengths by So You Think.

It is a widely held view that the 2011 Cox Plate is weaker which should edge Avienus a little closer to the Cox Plate placings on that theory alone.

Webb has trained her more for the 2000m this year thinking a Cox Plate start was possible.

Last year he trained her for 1600m in the hope she could win one and get into the Cox Plate field.

With Avienus you will know before the turn if you are in for a great ride.

She will either still be chanting at the bit or looking for another day but one thing is sure. At her best she is a hope and a far better one than the $61 on offer suggests.

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