After 155 entries were made for the 2012 Cox Plate last month, the number has now been reduced to 68 following the first round of acceptances.
Injury, illness and realistic expectations of connections see a quality group of horses remain in contention for the prestigious weight-for-age championship of Australasia.
Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse has two of the best chances with Pierro and More Joyous but has seven entries in addition to the star pair.
Included are imports Julienas and Glencadam Gold as well as Tullamore, Strawberry Boy, Proisir, Kabayan and Strawberry Boy.
Leading trainer Peter Moody is without star sprinter Black Caviar this spring but he has one of the best Cox Plate chances with triple Group 1 winner Manighar and has also accepted with Blackie, Sneak A Peek and Moment Of Change.
There is no shortage of stars among the 68 acceptances that includes 2011 third and fifth Rekindled Interest and Secret Admirer.
While the number of international raiders for the Cox Plate is far less than in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, two key acceptances are former Melbourne Cup winner Americain and the Luca Cumani-trained Afsare.
Despite a poor start to his spring campaign All Too Hard remains in Cox Plate contention and is joined by fellow Patinack-owned youngster Nechita.
Pierro and Nechita head 12-horse group of three-year-olds that have accepted for the Cox Plate that also includes Commanding Jewel, New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel and the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamexpress.
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Cox Plate 2012 – First Acceptances
|1||AFSARE (GB)||Luca Cumani||59kg|
|3||AMERICAIN (USA)||Alain de Royer Dupre||59kg|
|4||BLACKIE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||59kg|
|5||CLASS IS CLASS (IRE)||Chris Waller||59kg|
|6||DECEMBER DRAW (IRE)||Mark Kavanagh||59kg|
|7||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|8||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes||59kg|
|9||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||59kg|
|10||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||59kg|
|11||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|12||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||59kg|
|13||HEART OF DREAMS||Mick Price||59kg|
|14||ILLO (GER)||Bart Cummings||59kg|
|15||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||59kg|
|18||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg|
|19||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||59kg|
|20||MAWINGO (GER)||Anthony Freedman||59kg|
|21||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|23||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|24||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||59kg|
|25||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||59kg|
|27||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg|
|28||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||59kg|
|29||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||59kg|
|30||SANAGAS (GER)||Bart Cummings||59kg|
|31||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|32||SHAHWARDI (FR)||Alain de Royer Dupre||59kg|
|33||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||59kg|
|35||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||59kg|
|36||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||59kg|
|37||TAGUS||John P Thompson||59kg|
|39||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||59kg|
|40||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||59kg|
|41||WATERFORD HILL||Leon Corstens||59kg|
|42||WINCHESTER (USA)||John Sadler||59kg|
|44||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||57.5kg|
|45||OCEAN PARK (NZ)||Gary Hennessy||57.5kg|
|46||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||57.5kg|
|47||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||57.5kg|
|48||STRAWBERRY BOY||Gai Waterhouse||57.5kg|
|49||VAL CHAMP (ARG)||Anthony Freedman||57.5kg|
|50||WILD AND PROUD||Gai Waterhouse||57.5kg|
|51||MORE JOYOUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||57kg|
|52||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||57kg|
|53||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||57kg|
|55||ALIYANA TILDE||Kerry Parker||55.5kg|
|57||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||49.5kg|
|59||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||49.5kg|
|61||NINTH LEGION||Anthony Cummings||49.5kg|
|64||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||49.5kg|
|66||AFFABLE||John P Thompson||47.5kg|
|67||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon Corstens||47.5kg|
|68||NECHITA||John P Thompson||47.5kg|