Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
An intriguing 2011 Cox Plate showdown is on the cards for Moonee Valley’s showcase race of the year with a full field of 14 set to take the their spot in the lucrative weight-for-age showdown, and here the team at Races.com.au take a look at the horses to select for a winning bet and those to forget.
There are nine quality races running at Moonee Valley for Cox Plate Day 2011, and while there are some other tasty treats for the punters and fans on the card including Race 5 where Black Caviar shoots for career win No. 15, hands-down the $3 million Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate (2040m) is the one you want to have a bet on through Luxbet.
Cox Plate favourite in the Luxbet markets is Helmet who has been steadily backed in from $3.50 to $3.20 to become the first Caulfield Guineas winner since Red Anchor in 1984 to salute in the Cox Plate in the same spring.
Only two of the gun three-year-olds’ rivals are at single-figures in the betting with easing second elect Jimmy Choux ($3.60 out to $6) losing appeal after getting run down in a Moonee Valley gallop this week by Rekindled Interest ($12 into $7.50).
These are the top three with the punters, but two of the four mares engaged in this year’s Cox Plate field are not without their admirers with last-start Epsom Handicap hero Secret Admirer ($12 into $11) and the Peter Moody-trained dual 2000 metre winner King’s Rose ($15 into $11) both firming in their price.
There is also a collection of longer-priced Cox Plate contenders at juicy odds at Luxbet that certainly have claims including tipped pacesetter Glass Harmonium ($12), one-time favourite Lion Tamer ($14), popular grey veteran Efficient ($21) and dual Group 1 winner Sincero ($21).
Rounding out the 2011 Cox Plate betting markets at Luxbet are then the consistent Pinker Pinker ($31), dual Classics winner Shamrocker ($41), Kiwi raider Wall Street ($61), last-minute call up Avienus ($61) and forgotten Perth galloper Playing God ($71).
Earlier in the week Races.com.au published our comprehensive Cox Plate 2011 Form Guide Analysis & Betting Preview, and taking all of the facts we discovered then into account we have come up with our Cox Plate tips.
Races.com.au 2011 Cox Plate Tips – Moonee Valley Race 8 Betting
To Win: #13 King’s Rose – $11 Luxbet
History may be against Moody’s Cox Plate hope King’s Rose as a mare, but the Races.com.au team fancy form over superstition and the form on King’s Rose certainly stacks up.
Only five mares have been able to win the Cox Plate throughout history, two of which were dual winners with Tranquil Star (1942,1944) and Sunline (1999, 2000), and the most recent of which was triple Melbourne Cup champion Makybe Diva (2005).
But in a Cox Plate field without a genuine weight-for-age standout, we believe this year is the year of the mare.
The trainer-jockey partnership of Moody and Luke Nolen that are represented in the Cox Plate by King’s Rose is a strong one, and Nolen is also a former Cox Plate winning hoop having won with El Segundo back in 2007.
Formerly prepared in New Zealand, since joining Moody’s stables King’s Rose has won two of her three starts and comes off a narrow last-start second to King Mufhasa in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Prior to that she won both the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 Spotless Stakes (1600m).
Her Memsie Stakes success is a great Cox Plate indicator as last year’s Cox Plate winner So You Think won the Memsie on way to his second victory in the classic.
King’s Rose is also a horse that knows how to win a race, boasting the fourth highest win rate of the field – 53.33%.
She is also undefeated over the distance having won two 2000 metre races back home in New Zealand, making her one of only five horses in the Cox Plate this year with form over the distance.
Moonee Valley also holds no fears as her Stocks Stakes success was at the Valley, and only three of her other Cox Plate rivals have won at the notoriously tight circuit.
Drawn ideally in barrier two will suit King’s Rose as she will go back and settle just off the speed before coming home for the win.
Second: #14 Helmet
It will be a narrow Cox Plate result in 2011, Helmet to just be nudged out of the win.
We are not denying that he is a special three-year-old and one capable of a Cox Plate win, but not from barrier 10.
He carries just 49.5kg and this is a huge advantage, but without form at Moonee Valley or 2000 metres under race conditions in a big field under pressure like the Cox Plate, we just cannot take him for the win at Luxbet.
Won the Guineas in record time, and while it didn’t look to take too much out of him, whether he can reproduce another run like that is questionable.
If you really don’t want to bet against Helmet in the Cox Plate, then take him for the Win at Luxbet and if he runs second to any other horse you will get your bet refunded up to $250!
Third: #7 Lion Tamer
Is at the right price paying $14 to Win and around $4 to Place through Luxbet. Drawn in barrier 14 which is far too awkward for a victory against this field at this track, but Murray Baker’s Kiwi galloper cannot be ignored and is a genuine Each Way chance.
Were all the rage in the Cox Plate markets after winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) but their well-beaten run when eighth to Descarado in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last-start saw them left behind.
Gets the blinkers back to sharpen them up, and if they can get into a nice midfield position and not get stuck at the tail end of the field with too much work to do in a big field like in the Caulfield Stakes, can really challenge.
Fourth: #5 Jimmy Choux
Expect a big run from Jimmy Choux, who comes off a win over the Cox Plate distance in the Group 1 Spring Classic at Hastings, but think they will just get found out when facing a field of 14 at the Valley.
They have had two gallops here, one hit one miss, and it all depends which of these they reproduce in the Cox Plate as to where they will finish.
Have won in Australia, but that was as a three-year-old against other three-year-olds, and the Cox Plate is a different ball game.
From a better draw (they are in nine), would be a better winning chance but think they may get back here and won’t get the run they need to be a serious threat.
Best Roughie: #15 Avienus
Only just made the Cox Plate field as the first emergency following the scratching of Descarado, who she ran an eye-catching second behind last-start in the Caulfield Stakes.
At $61 to Win and $15 to Place in the Cox Plate markets at Luxbet, Avienus is definitely over the odds.
She won’t win from the barrier (12) against these, but she may place and makes a nice exotics selection.
Having run a credible sixth to So You Think here 12 months ago, there’s nothing to suggest she cannot do the same if not one or two better this year.
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