Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
First acceptances for the 2014 Cox Plate closed today with numbers up from 90 at this stage last year to 110 hopefuls for the October 25 classic at Moonee Valley Racecourse this spring.
Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) is shaping up as another ace showdown with the pre-first acceptance markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Silent Achiever.
Roger James’s four-time Group 1 winning mare paid up for at first declaration stage today following a first-up fourth to Dissident in the Group 1 Memsie Staks (1400m) on August 30.
She’s 2014 Melbourne Cup bound this November but is still a chance for the Cox Plate on her way to the ‘race that stops a nation’.
2014 Cox Plate First Declarations Fast Facts
- 110 entries down from 225 nominations
- 13 internationals down from 29 at nomination stage
- 26 three-year-olds including 1 filly (Go Indy Go) down from over 50 at nomination stage
Last year’s Cox Plate winner was then three-year-old Shamus Award, the first maiden in history to take out the feature.
This year there are 26 three-year-olds still in the mix with 25 colts and geldings, and one filly in Go Indy Go.
Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ Group 1 Champagne Stakes winning daughter of Bernardini returns to racing in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne this weekend and will contest the 2014 Thousand Guineas next month before a possible Cox Plate assignment.
Other notable three-year-olds include Gai Waterhouse’s JJ Atkins winner Almalad, Chivalry, Divan and Hallowed Crown who runs in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney this Saturday.
With a record number of international Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival contenders this year there are still 13 raiders in the mix for the Cox Plate trophy, up from just four last year.
When Cox Plate nominations were taken last month there were 29 overseas entries and the strong presence of the non-Australian and New Zealand entries promises a truly international affair.
The best fancied of the international Cox Plate first acceptors are Aiden O’Brien’s Irish galloper Adelaide last seen winning the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2000m) at Arlington in the US and last start Singapore Cup winner Dan Excel prepared in Hong Kong by expat Aussie trainer John Moore.
Notable International 2014 Cox Plate First Acceptances
- Adelaide (Aiden O’Brien) – One of two left from the four original entries for Ireland’s Aiden O’Brien, Galileo four-year-old in flying form having run second in the Belmont Derby two back before a Group 1 Arlington win over this distance in mid-August
- Magician (Aiden O’Brien) – Arlington Million runner-up in the US on the same day his stablemate won the Secretariat Stakes, also Group 1 performed over this distance back home in Europe including a second in the Prince OF Wales Stakes to The Fuge in June over 2000m
- Dan Excel (John Moore) – Hong Kong champion won the Singapore Cup over the 2000m in May and has already join trainer’s brother Gary Moore in Australia for the spring
- Guest Of Honour (Marco Botti) – Cape Cross stallion won back-to-back European races over a mile last season and on track for a visit down under where the 2000m will be a test
- Trading Leather (Jim Bolger) – Irish-trained Teofilo stallion with top form around the best over there over 2000m – 24000m
The equal best represented trainer meanwhile is four time Sydney premiership winning horseman Chris Waller with nine entries: Boban, Foreteller, Hawkspur, He’s Your Man, Junoob, Moriarty, Sacred Falls, Bull Point and Royal Descent.
Waller’s best fancied in the Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are his last start Chelmsford Stakes runner-up Royal Descent when he prepared the first six over the line in the Group 2 last Saturday and dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls.
Also with nine in the mix is Gai Waterhouse with: Almalad, Liberation, Valentia, Wandjina, Bonfire, Greatwood, Liberty’s Choice, Longma and Ryker.
None of Waterhouse’s contingent is in the top half of the Cox Plate markets however.
2014 Cox Plate First Declarations – Best Represented
- Chris Waller with 9 including Royal Descent and Sacred Falls
- Gai Waterhouse with 9 including three-year-old Almalad and import Greatwood
- Team Hawkes with 8
- Owner Lloyd Williams with 6
- Godolphin and John O’Shea with 5
- Darren Weir with 4
One of the most notable Cox Plate first acceptors meanwhile is Mick Burles’s Tassie galloper The Cleaner who earned a call-up for the race after winning the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last weekend.
The visitor from the Apple Isle with a cult like following is sure to draw the crowds on Cox Plate Day after posting a commanding all-the-way win in the Dato defeating a top field to continue his nice association with the track (5-3-1-1).
Notable 2014 Cox Plate First Acceptors
- Silent Achiever (Roger James) – Weight-for-age champion in the autumn and leading early Cox Plate markets despite the Spring Cups also being on this Kiwi mare’s agenda
- The Cleaner (Mick Burles) – Cult galloper from Tasmania won the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at the track last Saturday
- Lucia Valentina (Kris Lees) – Early fancy for the 2014 Caulfield Cup too the Vinery Stud Stakes winning mare resumed with a Group 2 Tramway Stakes win last weekend in the wet in Sydney
- Criterion (David Payne) – Sebring stallion won the Rosehill Guineas – ATC Derby double as a three-year-old in the autumn, had two runs this time in including a seventh behind Waller’s six in the Chelmsford with improvement to come over more distance
- Dissident (Peter Moody) – Randwick Guineas winner last season came back and outclassed them in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield to become a dual Group 1 champ, races again in Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington up over 1600m
- Commanding Jewel (Leon & Troy Corstens) – Had the Cox Plate confirmed as her goal this week, the injury-prone 2012 Thousand Guineas is still only lightly raced for her age and has come back well off a lengthy let off running third in the Cockram Stakes
Notable omissions meanwhile include international invitee Mukhadram, Peter Moody’s triple Group 1 champ Moment Of Change and classy mare Norzita for James & Bart Cummings.
The 2014 Cox Plate second declarations close on Tuesday September 23.
Updated Cox Plate betting markets are now set to open online at Ladbrokes.com.au making now the time to discover the benefits of this top bookmaker who will match your first deposit 100% up to $250 as a bonus welcome bet!
2014 Cox Plate First Declarations
Moonee Valley Race 5 – 25/10/2014
|1||ADELAIDE (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien|
|4||ANY DAY WILL DO||David Vandyke|
|5||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke|
|6||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney|
|7||AS NEEDED||Anthony Cummings|
|8||ATLANTE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|9||AVA’S DELIGHT||Darren Weir|
|10||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|13||BONFIRE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse|
|14||BULL POINT||Chris Waller|
|15||CALVIN WILLIAMS (FR)||Markus Nigge|
|16||CAUTHEN (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|17||CHABELLE (NZ)||Robbie Laing|
|19||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|20||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea|
|21||COUNT OF LIMONADE (IRE)||Mick Price|
|22||CRACKERJACK KING (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|23||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne|
|24||DAN EXCEL (IRE)||John Moore|
|25||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners|
|27||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody|
|28||DIVAN (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|29||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing|
|30||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|31||FALAMONTE (NZ)||Robbie Laing|
|32||FARRAAJ (IRE)||Roger Varian|
|34||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller|
|35||FOUNDRY (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|36||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden|
|37||GET THE NOD||Lloyd Kennewell|
|39||GO INDY GO||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas|
|41||GREATWOOD (GB)||Gai Waterhouse|
|42||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|43||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens|
|44||GUEST OF HONOUR (IRE)||Marco Botti|
|45||HALLOWED CROWN||Bart & James Cummings|
|46||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara|
|48||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller|
|49||HOOKED||John P Thompson|
|50||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller|
|51||JUST THE JUDGE (IRE)||Charles Hills|
|52||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent|
|54||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|55||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride|
|56||LATE CHARGE||Wendy Kelly|
|57||LE ROI (GER)||Tony McEvoy|
|58||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|60||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse|
|61||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody|
|62||LIGHT UP MANHATTAN||Ciaron Maher|
|64||LOOKS LIKE THE CAT||Tony Gollan|
|65||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees|
|66||LUCKY TOM||Harold Norman|
|67||MAGICIAN (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien|
|68||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott|
|69||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|70||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|71||MOBACO (FR)||Darren Weir|
|74||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller|
|75||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|76||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||Stuart Kittow|
|77||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir|
|78||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay|
|79||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir|
|80||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|81||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan|
|82||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller|
|84||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller|
|85||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry|
|86||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington|
|87||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding|
|88||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James|
|89||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees|
|90||SMOKING SUN (USA)||Pascal Bary|
|91||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra|
|93||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|94||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison|
|95||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|96||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh|
|97||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|99||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles|
|100||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|101||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|102||TRADE STORM (GB)||David Simcock|
|103||TRADING LEATHER (IRE)||Jim Bolger|
|105||VOLEUSE DE COEURS (IRE)||Michael Moroney|
|107||WASHINGTON HEIGHTS||Gerald Ryan|
|108||ZEBULON (NZ)||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison|
|109||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|110||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
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