This weekend Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the 2013 Cox Plate, will light up Moonee Valley Racecourse and below are the insider Races.com.au team’s tips on the classic.
Cox Plate betting on the $3 million, 2040m Group 1 clash was thrown into disarray with the scratching of the injured and subsequently retired champion mare Atlantic Jewel.
Mark Kavanagh’s queen was odds-on for the showdown, her withdrawal opening up the race and markets.
New favourite at an easing price of $4.20, or $8.40 for those smart punters betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au with their double the Cox Plate odds offer, is then the only horse to defeat Atlantic Jewel in her career It’s A Dundeel.
He’s out wide in barrier 12 and hasn’t raced since the Murray Baker-trained High Chaparral stallion’s narrowly defeated Atlantic Jewel for an upset in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 21.
That was the four-year-olds’ fifth Group 1 victory, but they haven’t run since having suffered a setback with a hoof abscess.
If they do win for the punters on the weekend they will become the first Cox Plate winner in history to have had their final run more than 21 days before.
There are then three other chances under double figures in the standard Cox Plate odds with the Darren Weir-trained Turnbull Stakes runner-up Puissance De Lune ($4.60), Gai Waterhouse’s Melbourne Cup-bound import Fiorente ($5.50) and Peter Snowden’s Caulfield Guineas winning three-year-old Long John ($7.50).
So are these the horses the ones to back in your Caulfield Cup bets on the weekend, and if so, in what order?
Or is there value to be found further down the markets with a longer priced outsider such as Turnbull Stakes winner Happy Trails ($13) who is firming, reigning Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon ($17) or Kavanagh’s track specialist Super Cool ($21)?
#11 It’s A Dundeel ($4.20 or $8.40 DTO)
Sticking with the race favourite who has overcome the hoof injury, galloping well at the track earlier in the week, and looking the one to beat with Atlantic Jewel out. There’s some hoodoos they have to overcome to win including the fact no horse has won from barrier 12 in the race, but cannot ignore their class (five Group 1’s and counting). There’s been hesitations and questions over their fitness but we think they are going to be okay and are still the one to beat.
#2 Happy Trails ($13 or $26 DTO)
Money is only just now coming in for six-year-old Happy Trails, now trained by Byron Cozamanis due to the suspension of Paul Beshara. They won the Emirates Stakes last spring over the Flemington mile, and have form up to 2000m so no distance queries. Finished a brave third to Reliable Man in the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick during the autumn over the distance and won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes beating many of the top picks here including Puissance De Lune and Fiorente as a $26 roughie. They were fourth to It’s A Dundeel in the Underwood this prep before showing improvement in the Turnbull, if they haven’t peaked too early from gate two are a real contender for the title.
#12 Super Cool ($21 or $42 DTO)
Don’t think Super Cool could have beaten the stablemate, as proven when she easily went past Kavanagh’s Australian Cup winner in the Caulfield Stakes on October 12. The Fastnet Rock four-year-old was third that day, also beaten by a fast finishing Foreteller who pays $26 in Cox Plate betting. Think though that the key, aside from the withdrawal of Atlantic Jewel, is the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit. Super Cool has a great record here, most recently fourth to Fiorente in the Dato over a mile, and the distance suits too. One of only two to win over this track and distance (4-2-0-1) and that’s going to benefit them.
To lock in our Cox Plate selections at the hottest markets there’s only one place to go, Ladbrokes.com.au, as they have DOUBLE the fixed win price on every horse in the field exclusively for their customers.
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au, available at DTO prices and subject to change