After the announcement of a 15 acceptor 2013 Cox Plate field for this weekend’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival major, below the Races.com.au team take a better look at the runners and their form for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
Scheduled to run as the last at Moonee Valley on Saturday, this year’s $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) is shaping up as one of the most in-depth and intriguing in many years.
The race has a capacity 14 starters, but with 15 final acceptors the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award will be sweating on a withdrawal to make the line-up.
Race favourite is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Atlantic Jewel, the star mare coming off an all too easy win in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) from October 12.
She’s proven over the distance twice now, has four Group 1 wins, has only been defeated once before when encountering a Slow-rated track and Moonee Valley also holds no fears.
With connections selected at random to choose their own Cox Plate barriers this morning, Kavanagh was able to pull out the ideal gate seven draw for his Fastnet Rock five-year-old.
There is a chance she will be withdrawn from the race however with Kavanagh confirming he would not run her if the track was rain affected.
It’s currently wet in Melbourne but conditions are forecast to ease later in the week, and Moonee Valley is famous for being a well-draining track.
Kavanagh will also be represented in the Cox Plate field this year by his Group 1 winning four-year-old Super Cool.
Also by Fastnet Rock, the gelding was last seen running third in the Caulfield Stakes but wasn’t as lucky with their Cox Plate barrier coming up with gate 14 which is a gate that is yet to produce a Cox Plate winner.
The other Cox Plate barrier that has zero wins is 12 which belongs on Saturday to the Robert Hickmott-trained reigning Melbourne Cup champ Green Moon.
Of course all horses allocated barrier 4 and above will come in a gate if Shamus Award (barrier three) fails to gain a run meaning the two ‘hoodoo’ gates will instead belong to the Gai Waterhouse-trained second favourite Fiorente (15 into 14) and the Murray Baker-trained It’s A Dundeel (barrier 13 into 12).
Kiwi raider It’s A Dundeel scored their fifth Group 1 triumph when scoring an upset win in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) over Atlantic Jewel.
He missed the rematch in the Caulfield Stakes as well as some crucial Cox Plate lead-up work however due to a hoof abscess and so remains an unknown danger for the weekend.
Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams will saddle-up a three-pronged attack on the Cox Plate this year having also accepted for last start The Metropolitan winner in Sydney Seville (barrier 10) and improving six-year-old Masked Marvel (barrier five).
Other hopes high up the Cox Plate odds after the release of barriers are Melbourne Cup-bound Puissance De Lune and the b-trained three-year-old Caulfield Guineas hero Long John.
Of course there’s another level of interest in this year’s race with the presence of two international raiders in the Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance (barrier one) to be ridden by Craig Williams in their first run since a third in August’s Arlington Million, and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s veteran galloper Mull Of Killough (barrier four).
Rounding out the Cox Plate 2013 field are then the now Byron Cozamanis-trained Turnbull Stakes winner Happy Trails (barrier two), Chris Waller’s Makybe Diva Stakes winner Foreteller (barrier nine) coming off a Caulfield Stakes second and Rekindled Interest (barrier six) who runs in the race for the third year on the trot.
Our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au are set to release their Cox Plate odds shortly, offering double the fixed win price on all the acceptors, an exclusive offer not available at any other bookie in Australia so make sure you have an account open with them now!
2013 Cox Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
Saturday October 26, 2013 – Moonee Valley Race 10
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2171x44x59||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Brett Prebble||12||59kg||118|
|2||x9903x5741||HAPPY TRAILS||Byron Cozamanis||Dwayne Dunn||2||59kg||118|
|3||1x42x3x614||FIORENTE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||15||59kg||115|
|4||71522×8102||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||9||59kg|
|5||226x44x73x||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding||Craig Williams||1||59kg||115|
|6||4x052x0091||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||10||59kg||115|
|7||25x0300x20||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||Mark Zahra||6||59kg||113|
|8||211x1x1272||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||–||8||59kg||115|
|9||x73948x032||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||5||59kg||111|
|10||4211x1528x||MULL OF KILLOUGH (IRE)||Jane Chapple-Hyam||Steven Arnold||4||59kg||115|
|11||7x41112x41||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||James McDonald||13||57.5kg||121|
|12||2x311x3493||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||Corey Brown||14||57.5kg||118|
|13||11x11x1121||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||7||57kg||122|
|14||111×3131||LONG JOHN||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||49.5kg||115|
|15e||3x352x2723||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Chad Schofield (a)||3||49.5kg||109|