James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
The two mares who ran the Railway Stakes quinella last month lead the field and markets for Saturday’s CB Cox Stakes 2014 rematch with Elite Belle and Balmont Girl shaping up as the ones to beat in the weight-for-age feature.
This year’s $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) attracted a final field of 14 hopefuls set to face off in the Ascot classic on the latest Perth Summer Racing Carnival meeting.
Drawn ideally in barrier four and after another feature race win for the season is the Grant Williams-trained Elite Belle.
She’s won two of her four assignments this campaign, most notably the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 22.
The classy daughter of Canny Lad was last seen finishing third to Sydney raider Moriarty in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) when Peter Hall replaced William Pike.
Pike rode her stable mate Disposition into second place but is back in the saddle for her second CB Cox Stakes shot, Elite Belle having run a disappointing ninth behind Ihtsahymn 12 months ago.
She backed up from that run to win the Listed La Trice Classic (1800m) on New Year’s Day but this year will go straight to the paddock after the CB Cox Stakes where she will shoot for her first win over further than 1800m at attempt number six.
Runner-up behind Elite Belle in Perth’s richest race, the Railway Stakes, Balmont Girl is the other top chance sure to lead CB Cox Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for this weekend.
Paula Wagg’s four-year-old daughter of Balmont was only three-quarters of a length away in the Railway but then finished a below par 10th in the Kingston Town Classic last time out.
She’s got winning form up to a mile and a half however having beaten home Real Love in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) at the track in March.
Balmont Girl gets a chance to atone for the Kingston Town then when she goes up in distance for her Cox Stakes bid with Shaun O’Donnell to ride her form barrier eight.
The other standout in the race is then Bass Strait who also comes via a Kingston Town Classic run.
He ran two and three-quarter lengths away sixth last start, trainer Neville Parnham hoping the Holy Roman Emperor gelding can return to the form that saw him beat Respondent home to win the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) in mid-November.
Parnham has also accepted for God Has Spoken (barrier 10) the veteran Blackfriars eight-year-old after his first win since the 2011 CB Cox Stakes three years ago, after which he ran second to Western Jewel in that year’s Perth Cup.
Adam Durrant will be represented in barrier nine by another former CB Cox Stakes winner Mr Moet who hasn’t won again since his 2012 success in this feature.
Like God Has Spoken before him, Mr Moet also backed up from his CB Cox Stakes victory to run second in the Perth Cup when three-quarters of a length off Talent Show on New Year’s Day 2013.
The other most notable hopes for Saturday are then Fred Kersley’s reigning CB Cox Stakes champ Ihtsahymn, Durrant’s other runner Chester Road who was runner-up in the race last year, the Daniel Morton-trained Boulder Cup winner Red Blast and Justin Warwick’s Verglas mare Lucciola coming off a fourth in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m) from December 6.
See below for the official CB Cox Stakes 2014 field and barriers, updated markets to open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly!
2014 CB Cox Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Racecourse – 20/12/2014
|#||Horse||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rtg.||Jockey||Trainer|
|1||MR MOET||9||59||106||DANIEL STAECK||ADAM DURRANT|
|2||GOD HAS SPOKEN||10||59||90||BRAD PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|3||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||12||59||89||TBA||DANIEL MORTON|
|4||OPERATIONAL||13||59||92||JARRAD NOSKE||FRED KERSLEY|
|5||GLOBAL FLIRT||5||59||90||WILLIE WHITE||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|6||CHESTER ROAD||7||59||102||PETER KNUCKEY||ADAM DURRANT|
|7||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||2||59||92||CHRIS PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|8||CLASSIQUE IVORY (NZ)||14||59||88||TBA||GINO POLETTI|
|9||RED BLAST||11||59||83||TBA||DANIEL MORTON|
|10||IHTSAHYMN||6||58||104||STEVEN PARNHAM||FRED KERSLEY|
|11||ELITE BELLE||4||57||110||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|12||LUCCIOLA (IRE)||3||57||84||LUCY WARWICK||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|14||BALMONT GIRL||8||56||102||SHAUN O’DONNELL||PAULA WAGG|
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