Only 36 weight-for-age hopefuls remain in the mix for the 2015 Cox Plate following this week’s third declarations for the Moonee Valley classic running on Saturday October 24.
At second declaration stage last month there were 73 entries still heading towards the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m), that number slashed by half on Tuesday with third acceptances closing.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller, shooting for his maiden Cox Plate win, still has six chances in the race including the first two in the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Leading the futures Cox Plate betting is last start Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) winning four-year-old Kermadec ($4.80) who is the right age for success as four of the past five Cox Plate winners were in their four-year-old seasons including Adelaide (2014).
A dual Group 1 winner over the Randwick mile, Teofilo stallion Kermadec is yet to race over further than 1600m and hasn’t run in Melbourne since his fourth to Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington back in early March.
Occupying the second line of the Cox Plate odds at $7 is then Waller’s flying Street Cry mare Winx, the four-year-old having won her four last starts on the trot.
Last campaign she closed her prep with a Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) victory at Doomben and she is two-from-two this time in most recently winning the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 3 in a runaway effort as the short priced favourite.
Waller’s other Cox Plate third acceptors are Kiwi expat Who Shot Thebarman ($101) who has winning form up to 3200m, Zabeel four-year-old Preferment ($15) coming off a Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) victory at Flemington from last Sunday, the ultra-consistent
Redoute’s Choice mare Royal Descent ($34) who was runner-up in the Turnbull last time out and three-year-old Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement ($15).
The last three-year-old Cox Plate winner was Shamus Award (2013) and before him So You Think (2009) for his first, Press Statement well fancied to be the next following his last start three length win as the odds-on favourite in Rosehill’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) in late September.
Outside of Waller’s top fancies the other best backed to win the Cox Plate in the pre-field markets are Fawkner ($8), Highland Reel ($8) and fellow European import Arod ($9).
The Robert Hickmott-trained Reset eight-year-old may be an ageing grey, but he is racing at his best after winning the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up at Flemington on September 12 before his second in the Underwood Stakes last time out when defeated only a nose by fellow eight-year-old Mourinho.
The last eight-year-old Cox Plate winner was Super Impose (1992), while Hickmott is yet to train a winner of Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
The best fancied of the international Cox Plate hopes this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as mentioned are the Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo stallion Highland Reel who won the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2012m) in the USA in mid-August before a last start fifth in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2012m) in Ireland on September 12 and Arod for Peter Chapple-Hyam.
Teofilo stallion Arod took out two feature races in Europe including the Group 2 Summer Mile (1609m) before a last start second to Solow in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (1609m) at Goodwood, the five-year-old boasting two wins from three starts over the Cox Plate distance also.
The other most notable international raider in Cox Plate contention this spring is Galio Chop ($17), the French-trained gelding last seen winning a Group 3 in the wet over 2000m on September 18.
Other noteworthy Cox Plate third acceptors include the John O’Shea-trained High Chaparral six-year-old Contributer ($15) who has a gun record at the distance (7-5-1-1), the fellow Godolphin-raced Group 1 winner Hartnell ($15) and the internationally tested David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sebring stallion Criterion ($17).
Check out the full Cox Plate 2015 third declarations below, the final field out on Tuesday October 20 at 8:30am (AEST).
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2015 Cox Plate Third Declarations
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 24/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Weight|
|2||6211x0x017||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|3||415x23112x||AROD (IRE)||H||5||Peter Chapple-Hyam||59kg|
|4||3x43028x4x||BIG MEMORY (FR)||G||6||Tony McEvoy||59kg|
|6||x18x111x56||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||H||6||John O’Shea||59kg|
|7||3x32135x6x||CRITERION (NZ)||H||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg|
|8||3352x0x339||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg|
|9||4x2614x242||ECUADOR (NZ)||G||6||Gai Waterhouse||59kg|
|10||8x2460x235||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg|
|12||11x41x28x1||GAILO CHOP (FR)||G||5||Antoine de Watrigant||59kg|
|13||11x6x0x006||GALLANTE (IRE)||H||5||Robert Hickmott||59kg|
|14||62307×6050||HAPPY TRAILS||G||8||Paul Beshara||59kg|
|15||67x2114x46||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||59kg|
|16||x630210x09||LEEBAZ (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg|
|18||951511×263||PORNICHET (FR)||H||5||Gai Waterhouse||59kg|
|19||39x245x213||THE CLEANER||G||8||Mick Burles||59kg|
|20||3x5442x758||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||59kg|
|21||1122x24x12||DISPOSITION||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||57.5kg|
|23||x43431x521||KERMADEC (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||57.5kg|
|24||1111151×74||MONGOLIAN KHAN||H||4||Murray Baker||57.5kg|
|25||1x0628x011||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||57.5kg|
|26||2x2332x731||STRATUM STAR||H||4||Darren Weir||57.5kg|
|27||1324x113x0||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||M||6||Robert Smerdon||57kg|
|28||26x122x620||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||57kg|
|29||x7433x1322||ROYAL DESCENT||M||6||Chris Waller||57kg|
|30||211×625115||HIGHLAND REEL (IRE)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien||56kg|
|31||43x4412x91||FENWAY||M||4||Lee & Shannon Hope||55.5kg|
|33||51×188||LAST BULLET||C||3||John Hyam||49.5kg|
|34||423826×355||ODYSSEY MOON||C||3||Rodney Northam||49.5kg|
|35||111×251||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller||49.5kg|