Ten three-year-old gallopers are still in the mix for this year’s Cox Plate 2013 trophy after third declarations for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship were taken by Racing Victoria today.
A total of 36 hopefuls were paid up for this year’s $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, down from 58 at second acceptance stage last month.
The headline three-year-old still in Cox Plate contention, an event that over the years has been happy hunting ground for young horses, is the Peter Snowden-trained Long John.
Long John is also the pre-race favourite for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) this weekend, and is one of five Guineas hopes heading towards the Cox Plate.
The others are Anthony Cummings’ Cluster, Adelaide raider Éclair Big Bang, Caulfield Guineas second favourite Prince Harada and Danny O’Brien’s Shamus Award after their maiden win on the weekend.
Along with Long John Darley’s head trainer Snowden also has Guelph still in Cox Plate calculations.
The Exceed And Excel filly became a triple Group 1 winner last Saturday with her easy kill in the Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile and travels to Melbourne next for Wednesday week’s $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield where she’ll jump odds-on favourite.
Gregers is the other Thousand Guineas filly who is still a chance at a Cox Plate bid 10 days later.
Rounding out the three-year-olds among the Cox Plate third acceptances are then Drago, Hooked and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Equator – all nominated for this weekend’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney.
Cox Plate odds meanwhile remain firmly led by Mark Kavanagh’s star mare Atlantic Jewel who suffered her first career loss when beaten by the barest of margins in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) as the odds-on favourite on September 21.
Upset Underwood Stakes champ It’s A Dundeel is also still heading towards the Cox Plate and is second favourite in betting.
Round two of the Atlantic Jewel v It’s A Dundeel battle was to have taken place this Saturday in the $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
However Murray Baker’s five-time Group 1 winning Kiwi It’s A Dundeel is in serious doubt of making the race after a hoof abscess saw them declared lame as late as this morning.
Other horses high up the Cox Plate odds that were accepted for today then include Melbourne Cup-bound Puissance De Lune and Waterhouse’s Fiorente who ran second and fourth respectively behind last year’s Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington over the weekend.
Paul Beshara’s stable ace Happy Trails is also among the latest list of Cox Plate acceptors along with reigning Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon for owner Lloyd Williams.
Connections of two international Cox Plate invitees, the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Mull Of Killough and Arlington Million third placed Side Glance, also paid the their third acceptance fees today as did the Australian owners of French horse Trevieres.
If any of the three accept in the final field and run on Cox Plate Day they will be the first European-trained horses to run in Cox Plate since 2004.
The Markus Nigge-trained Trevieres, who impressed Australian hoop Kerrin McEvoy with their recent work at Werribee, is nominated to make their debut down under this Saturday in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
Notable Cox Plate defectors meanwhile included in-form six-year-old Speediness, Perth Group 1 winner Mr Moet, the Guy Walter-trained Toydini who ran third in Saturday’s Epsom Handicap and last year’s Crown Oaks champion Dear Demi.
Cox Plate 2013 final acceptances revealing the field close on October 22 and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2013 Cox Plate Third Declarations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 26/10/2013
|2||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh|
|5||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes|
|9||FERLAX (NZ)||Jim Conlan|
|10||FIORENTE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse|
|11||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller|
|12||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse|
|13||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|16||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara|
|18||HOOKED||John P Thompson|
|19||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker|
|20||KESAMPOUR (FR)||Peter G Moody|
|21||LONG JOHN||Peter Snowden|
|22||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott|
|23||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|24||MOURO (USA)||Tony McEvoy|
|25||MULL OF KILLOUGH (IRE)||Jane Chapple-Hyam|
|26||PRINCE HARADA||Tony Vasil|
|27||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir|
|28||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan|
|29||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller|
|30||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller|
|31||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott|
|32||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott|
|33||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien|
|34||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding|
|35||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh|
|36||TREVIERES (FR)||Markus Nigge|