Master Ascot-based horseman Neville Parnham knows he is up against it on Saturday but hopes that with a bit of luck and the right conditions his 2011 Cox Plate candidate Playing God can run the race of his life and be competitive in the showpiece Moonee Valley feature.
The four-year-old Blackfriars stallion will don the No. 8 saddlecloth in the $3 million Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday, Playing God last seen running a credible sixth behind Descarado in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 8.
The Caulfield Stakes was their third start over 2000 metres, and the first time they had finished out of the money with Playing God’s other runs over the producing being a third to Shocking in the Australian Cup at Flemington in Mach and a third to December Draw in the Turnbull Stakes two starts back.
“Melbourne’s been our target all spring, we’ve given it our best shot and he’s been competitive,” Parnham said.
“He hasn’t won one, but he’s still competitive.
“He hasn’t actually run a bad race and he’s still been in the mix.”
Drawn wide in barrier 15, but moving into 13 with the scratchings of #2 Descarado and #16e Yosei from the 2011 Cox Plate field, Playing God doesn’t have the barrier but they do have talent and heart but is this enough to win them a Cox Plate?
Cox Plate Horse #8 Playing God – Horse Profile
- Jockey: Steven Parnham
- Trainer: Neville Parnham
- Owners: Cockatoo Ridge
- Age: 4YO
- Gender: Entire
- Breeding: by Blackfriars (AUS) from Rubiton mare Dolly Will Do (AUS)
- Career: 19:6-4-4
- Prize Money: $1,074,425
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 3-0-0-2
- Current Cox Plate Odds: $51 Luxbet
Why Playing God Can Win the 2011 Cox Plate
- Is the right age as there have been 26 four-year-old Cox Plate winners throughout history making it the most successful of all ages
- Has form over the distance with two third place finishes at elite level in Melbourne over 2000 metres
- Was far from disgraced last-start when finishing four-and-a-half lengths away sixth to Descarado in the Caulfield Stakes
- Is a Group 1 winner in Perth having won last year’s Kingston Town Classic
- Wide barrier draw may actually suit their sit-off-the-pace racing style
Why Playing God Can’t Win the 2011 Cox Plate
- Has never raced at Moonee Valley before, the track is notoriously tricky for first-timers
- Their Win Rate of 31.58% is only fair
- Could be a better Place Bet at Luxbet as they boast the fourth best Place Rate of the field (73.68%)
- A nasty double-digit gate (15 into 13 with current scratchings) hampers their chances
- Hasn’t won a race since the Perth Magic Millions 3YO Trophy back in February
Whether you want to back an upset Cox Plate result with Playing God to Win, lock this horse into a Trifecta to take advantage of Luxbet’s Best Tote Exotics + 5% Bonus on every Cox Plate Day race or just check out the full betting odds and options for Saturday, head to Luxbet and open your account with Australia’s favourite bookie.