In a bid to attract a classy internationally rich field of weight-for-age stars for the 2013 Cox Plate this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has sent out 20 invitations to Australasia’s WFA championship in October.
Set to light up Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday October 26, 2013, as the highlight of the Cox Plate Carnival this year’s $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) could be host to its most prestigious line-up yet according to the MVRC’s chairman Bob Scarborough.
“With the retirement of Frankel, there is now a new crop of Group 1 weight-for-age champions attempting to assert their authority on the racing world,” Scarborough said.
“The international racing landscape is forever changing and we are now seeing a large contingent of horses not only travelling overseas, but winning international group races.”
While the other big two spring features down under, the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, always attract the crème of the international racing crop, the Cox Plate has often failed to draw the same density of high profile overseas raiders.
“Whilst we have seen international winners of both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, the Cox Plate has remained an elusive prize for international competitors,” Racing Victoria’s international talent scout Leigh Jordon explained.
That could change this year however following this week’s international invitations to horses from a multitude of countries including Hong Kong, France, the UK, Japan, South Africa, Ireland and the USA.
“I am hopeful that the connections of the best weight-for-age horses in the world will accept our invitation to travel to Melbourne to contest the Weight-For-Age Championship in the southern hemisphere – the Sportingbet Cox Plate and attempt to become the first international horse to claim the crown,” Scarborough added.
The most well-known horse on the list to Australian racing fans is likely to be French champion Dunaden, winner of last year’s Caulfield Cup and the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained stallion was last seen running second to St Nicholas Abbey in the Group 1 Coronation Cup (2423m) at Epsom Downs on June 1 and is currently rated a $61 chance in the pre-nomination Cox Plate betting odds.
If successful in becoming this year’s Cox Plate winner at juicy odds then Dunaden would join a very elite list of horses to have won the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate trifecta joining Rising Fast and Might And Power.
The other French gallopers invited to join the Cox Plate show in the springtime are last start Group 1 winner Maxios as well as stablemates Giofra and Mandour who are prepared by 2010 Melbourne Cup winning trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre who won the world’s richest handicap with the since retired Americain.
Dansili mare Giofra was second in the Hong Kong Cup last December and in total boasts four Group 1 minor placings and a win in the fillies-only Falmouth Stakes over the Newmarket mile in her short 11 start career to date.
The shortest priced of the invitees in the Australian Cox Plate futures markets meanwhile is Military Attack.
Occupying the third line of Cox Plate betting at a quote of $9 trailing only It’s A Dundeel ($4.20) and Super Cool ($6.50) the John Moore-trained Hong Kong champion has won their last four races on the trot.
A five-year-old son of Oratorio Military Attack was last seen racing away to take out the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m), when ridden by Aussie hoop Zac Purton, by an easy 3.5 lengths over stablemate Dan Excel who has also been invited to travel down under for the Cox Plate 2013.
Other Hong Kong invitations were sent to HK Derby winner Akeed Mofeed and California Memory.
Representing the USA meanwhile is the Ed Dunlop-trained Hollywood Derby champion Unbridled Command paying $41 to score this year’s Cox Plate trophy with Dunlop already indicating the race is on their agenda.
Also in the mix are Aidan O’Brien’s Irish and Epsom Derby winner Camelot, Lockinge Stakes winner Farhh for Godolphin’s head trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and Japan’s 2012 Tenno Sho winner Eishin Flash.
Check out the full list of Cox Plate 2013 international invitations below.
Then to get behind your early spring favourites in the majors head over to bookmaker.com.au and check out their exclusive markets and juicy early odds!
2013 Cox Plate International Invitations
|1||AKEED MOFEED (HK)||Richard Gibson|
|2||AL KAZEEM (GB)||Roger Charlton|
|3||CALIFORNIA MEMORY (HK)||Tony Cruz|
|4||CAMELOT (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien|
|5||DAN EXCEL (HK)||John Moore|
|6||DUNADEN (FR)||Mikel Delzangles|
|7||EISHIN FLASH (JPN)||Hideaki Fujiwara|
|8||FARHH (GB)||Saeed Bin Suroor|
|9||GIOFRA (FR)||Alain de Royer-Dupre|
|10||MAGICIAN (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien|
|11||MANDOUR (FR)||Alain de Royer-Dupre|
|12||MAXIOS (FR)||Jonathon Pease|
|13||MILITARY ATTACK (HK)||John Moore|
|14||PLANTEUR (GB)||Marco Botti|
|15||SAJJHAA (GB)||Saeed IN Suroor|
|16||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding|
|17||THE APACHE (SAF)||Mike De Kock|
|18||THE FUGUE (GB)||John Gosden|
|19||TRADE STORM (GB)||David Simcock|
|20||UNBRIDLED COMMAND (USA)||Ed Dunlop|