Mark Kavanagh’s unbeaten Fastnet Rock mare Atlantic Jewel is the early favourite of the 2012 Cox Plate nominations which were released by Racing Victoria today.
One of the three majors of the annual Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) is due to run at Moonee Valley Racecourseon Saturday October 27 and has this year drawn 222 early entries, up 33 on 12 months ago.
Dominating the futures Cox Plate betting markets at bookies around Australia, four-year-old Atlantic Jewel headlines the Cox Plate 2012 nominations despite her young age and sex.
She is already a dual Group 1 winner having won the Thousand Guineas and All Aged Stakes throughout her stunning seven-from-seven career to date but has suffered a number of niggling injuries already.
While the hype is there, some doubts do surround how Atlantic Jewel will come on as a four-year-old after a lengthy spell, with queries over her 2000m form last season.
If successful she would be handing Kavanagh his second Cox Plate success following his win with Samantha Miss back in 2008.
The other early Cox Plate betting favourites nominated today are then Gai Waterhouse’s glamour mare More Joyous and their young stablemate, the undefeated Lonhro colt Pierro.
An eight-time elite level champion, More Joyous has contested one previous Cox Plate when fifth to So You Think for their first in 2010.
She looked in career best form during the autumn winning all four of her starts including the Queen Of The Turf Stakes – Doncaster Mile – Queen Elizabeth Stakes triple.
Pierro meanwhile is a winner of all six of their career starts to date, the three-year-old having reigned supreme in the autumn 2YO Triple Crown including a breakthrough Group 1 win in the Golden Slipper.
They will use the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 13 as a lead-up to the Cox Plate and will be out to emulate greats including So You Think who won Australasia’s weight-for-age championship in their three-year-old season.
Finishing off the leading Cox Plate quartet in the nominations and early betting markets is then Robert Smerdon’s unstoppable champion Mosheen.
The now four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock also boasts her fair share of Group 1 trophies having won the 2011 Crown Oaks, 2012 Australian Guineas and 2012 Randwick Guineas.
Proven over the distance and against this class, Mosheen is however yet to race at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley track but recent history suggests a four-year-old mare can get the job done following the wins of Pinker Pinker (2011) and Sunline (1999).
Other notable hopefuls among the 2012 Cox Plate nominations include gun three-year-old All Too Hard, last year’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter Lucas Cranach, Peter Moody’s flying European import Manighar who boasts three Group 1 titles down under including The BMW over 2400m, Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed, last year’s Cox Plate third placegetter Rekindled Interest, Queensland Derby champ Brambles and star Sydney galloper Manawanui.
There are also 18 internationally-trained horses in the Cox Plate mix this year, the most in the past five years.
Notable overseas hopes include 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, their stablemate Reliable Man who won the French Derby, and recent OTI purchase Prairie Star.
Italy’s Marco Botti has also nominated for two of his horses with Dubai World Cup palcegetter Palnteur who, if accepted, will receive an all expenses paid trip to the Cox Plate, and the Aussie-owned Group 1 champ Crackerjack King.
Despite being more likely to race on in Europe, another Aussie-owned international nominated for the Cox Plate in 2010 is German Oaks winner Salomina.
The Cups King Bart Cummings meanwhile will shoot for his sixth Cox Plate success with his German-bred imports Illo and Sanagas, the latter yet to race down under.
Late Cox Plate 2012 nominations will close on August 18 followed by the first acceptances on September 11.
September 25 will then see the Cox Plate second declarations taken and then the Cox Plate final field and barrier draw is out on October 23 with Races.com.au to publish all the entries.
Updated Cox Plate odds on the nominations are due out at our preferred online sportsbook bookmaker.com.au shortly.
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2012 Cox Plate Nominations
Moonee Valley – 27/10/2012
|1||ABOUT SQUARE||Michael Moroney||N/A|
|2||AFFABLE||John P Thompson||72|
|6||ALIYANA TILDE (BLKS)||Kerry Parker||N/A|
|7||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||N/A|
|8||AMERICAIN||Alain de Royer Dupre||N/A|
|9||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||N/A|
|10||AULD BURNS||David Hayes||85|
|11||AWESOME BRO||Leon Corstens||62|
|12||BALZEUS||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||78|
|13||BEATEN UP||William Haggas||N/A|
|14||BISHOPS CASTLE||Michael Moroney||61|
|15||BLACKIE||Peter G Moody||97|
|16||BRAMBLES||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|17||BRAVE THE WAY||Anthony Cummings||N/A|
|18||BROWN PANTHER||Tom Dascombe||N/A|
|21||CLASS IS CLASS||Chris Waller||N/A|
|22||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon Corstens||N/A|
|23||CRACKERJACK KING||Marco Botti||N/A|
|24||DANY THE FOX||Mick Price||66|
|25||DECEMBER DRAW||Mark Kavanagh||112|
|26||DOMINANT (BLKS)||Matt Laurie||66|
|32||EXTRA ZERO (BLKS)||David Hayes||N/A|
|33||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|34||FAT AL||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|35||FIBRILLATION (BLKS)||Tim Martin||N/A|
|36||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT||David Hayes||95|
|38||GLACIER KING (BLKS)||Peter White||62|
|39||GLASS HARMONIUM||Michael Moroney||112|
|40||GLENCADAM GOLD||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|41||GREEN BIRDIE (BLKS)||Tony Vasil||107|
|42||GREEN MOON||Robert Hickmott||108|
|43||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||N/A|
|44||HEART OF DREAMS||Mick Price||114|
|45||HE’S REMARKABLE (BLKS)||Roger James||N/A|
|48||ISOPACH (BLKS)||John P Thompson||N/A|
|51||KING OF OLYMPIA||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|52||KING’S ROSE||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|55||LESS IS MORE||David Vandyke||N/A|
|56||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|58||LUCAS CRANACH (BLKS)||Anthony Freedman||112|
|59||LUCKY PENNY||Peter Morgan||N/A|
|60||MALUCKYDAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|62||MANIGHAR||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|64||MASTER OF HOUNDS||William Haggas||N/A|
|66||MIDAS TOUCH||Robert Hickmott||110|
|67||MISS WITH ATTITUDE (BLKS)||Mick Price||86|
|68||MOLTO BENE||Will Clarken||N/A|
|69||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||92|
|70||MORE JOYOUS||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|72||MOUDRE (BLKS)||Ciaron Maher||105|
|73||MOURAYAN (BLKS)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|74||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||97|
|75||MR O’CEIRIN (BLKS)||Ciaron Maher||90|
|77||NECHITA||John P Thompson||N/A|
|79||NIAGARA (BLKS)||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|81||NINTH LEGION||Anthony Cummings||N/A|
|82||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||N/A|
|83||NOW YOU KNOW||Danny O’Brien||N/A|
|84||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan||70|
|85||OCEAN PARK (BLKS)||Gary Hennessy||N/A|
|86||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||N/A|
|87||PEAR TART||John P Thompson||N/A|
|88||PIERRO (BLKS)||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|90||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||107|
|91||POLISH KNIGHT (BLKS)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||N/A|
|93||PRAIRIE STAR||John Hammond||N/A|
|94||PRETTY PINS (BLKS)||John P Thompson||N/A|
|96||PRONTO PRONTO||Jason Warren||76|
|97||QUEST FOR PEACE||Luca Cumani||N/A|
|98||RANGIRANGDOO (BLKS)||Chris Waller||N/A|
|99||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||N/A|
|100||RELIABLE MAN||Alain de Royer Dupre||N/A|
|101||REMODEL (BLKS)||Mark Sues||N/A|
|103||RICHARD’S KID||Bob Baffert||N/A|
|104||ROCK ‘N’ POP (BLKS)||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|106||SAID COM||Chris Waller||N/A|
|109||SAY NO MORE||Paul Duncan||N/A|
|110||SEA GALLEON||Colin & Cindy Alderson||93|
|111||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||N/A|
|113||SHAHWARDI||Alain de Royer Dupre||N/A|
|115||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||80|
|116||SHENZHOU STEEDS||Michael Moroney||N/A|
|117||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||N/A|
|118||SIDE GLANCE||Andrew Balding||N/A|
|120||SIR TIME KEEPER (BLKS)||Graeme Nicholson||N/A|
|121||SNEAK A PEEK||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|122||SO SWIFT||Bill & Symon Wilde||91|
|123||SOFT SAND||Colin Little||N/A|
|124||SOLZHENITSYN (BLKS)||Robert Heathcote||N/A|
|125||SOMEPIN ANYPIN||Gary Portelli||N/A|
|126||SOUTHERN SPEED (BLKS)||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||N/A|
|127||SRI PUTRA||Roger Varian||N/A|
|128||STAINER||John P Thompson||N/A|
|129||STRAWBERRY BOY||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|130||STRENGTH||John P Thompson||N/A|
|131||SUMARAND (BLKS)||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|132||SYSMO (BLKS)||Tony McEvoy||71|
|133||TAGUS (BLKS)||John P Thompson||N/A|
|135||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||91|
|136||THE CLEANER (BLKS)||Mick Burles||85|
|137||THE GREAT SNOWMAN||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|138||TOKUGAWA (BLKS)||Leon Corstens||81|
|139||TROPHIES (BLKS)||John P Thompson||N/A|
|141||UNDER THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|143||UNUSUAL SUSPECT||Michael Kent||N/A|
|144||VAL CHAMP||Anthony Freedman||100|
|145||VOILA ICI||Peter G Moody||N/A|
|146||WALL STREET||Michael Moroney||N/A|
|147||WATERFORD HILL (BLKS)||Leon Corstens||75|
|148||WESTERN SYMBOL||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|149||WILD AND PROUD||Gai Waterhouse||N/A|
|151||YOSEI (BLKS)||Stuart Webb||109|
|152||YOUR SONG||Anthony Cummings||N/A|
|154||ZACK HALL||Mikel Delzangles||N/A|
|155||ZEPHYRON (BLKS)||Greg Eurell||N/A|