Even though the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) has a field limit of 14 plus four emergencies, Moonee Valley Racing Club is under no obligation to fill the field – even if it receives more than the 14-horse capacity come final acceptances.
That’s because the emphasis is on quality not quantity for the 2014 Cox Plate, according to club CEO Michael Browell.
Browell expects more than 14 horses to pay the final payment of $27,500 at 8:30am (AEDT) Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean the committee will select 14 horses for the $3 million feature race this Saturday.
“It could be that 15 pay up and the committee decides to run a field of 12,” Browell told TVN.
At the moment there are 10 definite horses that’ll appear on the field, with two more that’ll get a run if they accept.
That leaves 28 of the currently nominated horses up in the air, though there are some with a better chance of running than others.
The performances of the final acceptors over the past 12 months, their performance in black type races, their weight-for-age form, and most importantly their record at 1600m metres and beyond all make up the committee’s selection criteria along with the advice of Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.
“The Committee will also look at how a race rates, whether it’s a strong or weak renewal of a Group 1,” Browell said.
“We will line up all those different factors up and then make a decision.”
Irish import Adelaide is the only horse that has been invited to start in the Cox Plate while The Cleaner is exempt from the ballot following his Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) win.
Definite Runners (10)
- Adelaide – Ryan Moore
- Almalad – Craig Newitt
- Criterion – Hugh Bowman
- Fawkner – Nick Hall
- Happy Trails – Damien Oliver
- Royal Descent – Glen Boss
- Sacred Falls – Zac Purton
- Side Glance – Jamie Spencer
- Silent Achiever – Nash Rawiller
- The Cleaner – Steven Arnold
Will Get A Run If They Accept (2)
- He’s Your Man
Fawkner leads the current Cox Plate odds with Ladbrokes.com.au at a price of $4, followed by Adelaide and Sacred Falls at $6. Criterion ($8) and Happy Trails ($9) are the other single figure hopefuls, though these odds will likely change following the final field selection on Tuesday.
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