Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A Queen Elizabeth-owned galloper that has never won down under versus a four-time Group 1 winning mare – that’s the story told by the Cox Plate 2014 odds released around the country following this week’s nominations.
Attracting a record number of nominees this year’s $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) is set to light up Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday October 25 as the second of the ‘Big Three’ Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classics.
An impressive total of 225 horses, including 29 internationals, make up the Cox Plate nominations this spring and Ladbrokes.com.au have now opened markets on the showdown with Carlton House and Silent Achiever the equal $13 favourites.
Carlton House (USA)
- 7YO Bay Horse
- D.O.B: 30-Apr-2008
- By Street Cry (IRE) from Talented (GB)
- Trainer: Gai Waterhouse
- Owner: Her Majesty The Queen
- Career: 15-3:4:2
- Prizemoney: $1,272,645
- Min/Max Dist Wins: 1600/2100
Waterhouse’s Street Cry stallion has been racing down under since March last year but is yet to win a race, injury having set them back with over 10 months off between their debut (2013 Ajax Stakes 13th) and their next run. That’s not to say their form hasn’t been impressive. They racked up back-to-back Group 1 places in the autumn this year when a nose off Silent Achiever in the Ranvet Stakes and then third to It’s A Dudneel over the 2000m again this time at Randwick on April 19. 2000m is going to be their best distance but they haven’t won a race since a Group 3 over it in May two years ago in GB. Lots of hype but haven’t run in Melbourne yet either but they won’t be seen in Sydney this time.
Silent Achiever (NZ)
- 6YO O’Reilly Mare
- D.O.B: 18-Sep-2008
- By O’Reilly (NZ) from Winning Spree (NZ)
- Trainer: Roger James
- Owner: Mr K J Hickman
- Career: 26-10:3:2
- Prizemoney: $2,792,032
- Min/Max Dist Wins: 1500/2400
Close to $3 million in prizemoney earned by this New Zealand-trained mare who boasts a quartet of Group 1s, two of which were collected on Aussie soil in the autumn. The now six-year-old backed up off two NZ wins at home, including the NZ Stakes at elite level, to secure the Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double in Sydney before a fourth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She held Carlton House’s measure in the Ranvet Stakes but they finished one better than her in the Queen Elizabeth. Who will win the Cox Plate battle? She resumes in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 30 at Caulfield and has been working well. Campaign is open with possibility she could run in the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup too.
Three runners then follow in the all-in Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $15 to win with:
Happy Trails ($15) – Paul Beshara-trained Good Journey gelding was runner-up in last year’s Cox Plate when a nose off the winner Shamus Award, injured tendon saw them miss the Mackinnon and then the autumn but are returning in Adelaide this weekend racing first-up in the Spring Stakes followed by a title defense in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes on way to the Cox Plate where they’ll be looking to atone for last spring.
Magician ($15) – Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo stallion is the shortest-priced of the strong international line-up this, their trainer not having been down under since a kerfuffle back in 2008, five-year-old has plenty of Group 1 form around the globe including the 2013 Irish 20,000 Guineas, the Breeders’ cup in the USA last November and a couple of seconds this season, last run was a below par sixth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) at Ascot but over the 2040m for a Cox Plate bid will be sharper.
Mukhadram ($15) – William Haggas-trained Shamardal six-year-old is the horse Racing Victoria’s chief international recruit Leigh Jordon would most like to see come over, they won the Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes two back at Sandown over 2018m before a competitive third in the King George VI over the mile and a half, their first look at the distance, on pace runner that will suit the tight turns at the Valley, loves a firm ground, 2000m is their go and their owner Sheikh Hamdan shoots for their second Cox Plate victory having won back in 1989 with the Colin Hayes-trained import Almaarad
Behind these is another trio under $20 with John Moore’s Hong Kong galloper Dan Excel last seen winning the Singapore Cup over 2000m in May when ridden by Aussie hoop Tommy Berry, Chris Waller’s 2013 ATC Oaks winner Royal Descent and their dual Doncaster winning stablemate Sacred Falls at $17 to score the Cox Plate trophy in 2014.
The internationals are dominant in Cox Plate betting this year with other notable Northern Hemisphere-trained chances in the markets being O’Brien’s spruik Belmont Derby runner-up Adelaide ($21), Coral Eclipse Stakes runner-up Trading Leather ($21) and the Marco Botti-trained Guest Of Honour ($26).
Head to our No. 1 recommended online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au now to access their full futures Cox Plate odds, enjoying up to $250 as a bonus match bet if you’re a new depositor!
2014 Cox Plate Betting
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 25/10/2014
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*Odds quoted are All-In, Top 20 only @ Ladbrokes.com.au – subject to change
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