The big race in Perth, and Australia, this Saturday is Ascot’s 2014 C.B. Cox Stakes – betting tips for which are found right here.
Of the 13 remaining hopefuls in the $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) following the scratching of Perth Cup-bound Balmont Girl, the clear favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au is Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle ($2.80).
The Group 1 winning mare from the Karnup stables of Grant Williams put in a good run last time out on December 6 when up to 1800m for the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic to run third before she shoots for her first win over further than that distance here.
She’s had a number of attempts at staying distances, including a below par ninth in this race last Perth Summer Racing Carnival, but is yet to break through.
That’s something her owner-breeder Bob Peters hopes she can turn around on Saturday when jumping from an ideal barrier four draw with her Railway Stakes winning hoop William Pike back in the saddle.
Elite Belle is followed in the C.B. Cox Stakes odds by three other single figure hopefuls with Bass Strait ($4.40) drawn two on her inside, last year’s winner Ihtsahymn ($6.50) looking for his sixth win at the track and Mr Moet ($8) who won this race back in 2012.
So will the single figure hopes rule supreme on C.B. Cox Stakes Day, or is there an upset in the Group 2 on the cards from a long priced hopeful such as consistent placegetter Chester Road ($13) or Lucciola ($13) in barrier three with the equal highest win rate of the field (38%) with Elite Belle?
#11 Elite Belle ($2.80)
On paper this star mare is hard to beat and we can’t bet against her based on the lead-up form, the nice barrier four draw and the rebooking of William Pike who rode her to victory in the Railway Stakes two back. Peter Hall had the ride in the Kingston Town Classic when she finished a brave third behind two horses that are absent this weekend. Boasts nine wins including a host of black-types such as the Group 3 Prince of Wales Stakes this time in. The distance is a slight query as she hasn’t won over further than 1800m but gets every chance here to finally breakthrough in the staying ranks and add to her imposing win (38%) and place (75%) rates that are the best of this field.
#6 Chester Road ($13)
Adding a bit of value to the C.B. Cox Stakes quinella, Adam Durrant saddles up this veteran Tiger Hill seven-year-old that has claims despite the poor lead-up. Won the Carbine Club of WA Stakes two years ago before a Kingston Town ninth and then finished runner-up to Mr Moet in this race back in 2012. Had two years with no racing and came back for a Railway 12th and Kingston Town 11th this time. He can do better and probably just needed to get a feel for things. Barrier seven sees him get options and the stats when he’s at his best here are imposing including a 35% Win Rate, 65% Place Rate (the second best of the field), and a top record over the distance (3-2-1-0).
#10 Ihtsahymn ($6.50)
Four-year-old saddled-up by Fred Kersley was on fire last summer winning the Group 2 WA Guineas, Group 1 Kingston Town Classic and then this race. Steven Parnham stays on for his attempt at back-to-back wins but will need to be improving on the lead-up form including a Kingston town eighth when showing glimpses of better things. Has the second highest win rate (37%) and has plenty of nice running at Ascot (16-5-3-0) to suggest the money trail isn’t all that off track.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change