Chris Waller’s Epsom Handicap winning mare Winx is the early 2015 Cox Plate market mover for this afternoon’s classic at Moonee Valley Racecourse taking over favouritism from the visiting Irish raider Highland Reel.
Due to jump as Race 9 on a 10 event program at the Valley, this year’s $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) field is at capacity with 14 runners in the weight-for-age feature.
Just one female galloper takes on the boys in this year’s Cox Plate field with Waller’s four-year-old daughter of Street Cry one of three in the line-up for her star Sydney trainer shooting for his maiden trophy.
Drawn the rails with Hugh Bowman retaining the ride after guiding Winx to victory on October 3 in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick, she is looking to join Pinker Pinker (2011) and Makybe Diva (2005) as the most recent Cox Plate winning mares.
The rails isn’t the ideal draw at the tight Moonee Valley circuit, which Winx sees for the first time in her Melbourne debut today, and the last Cox Plate winner to jump from the inside alley was Almaarad (1989).
That hasn’t stopped the money coming for her however with Waller’s mare, a winner of her past four starts including Brisbane’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) in the winter, firming into the $5 top fancy in the latest Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all 10 Moonee Valley races today!
Starting favourite actually works against Winx historically speaking however as just one favourite has saluted since Makybe Diva started even money for her victory 10 years ago, So You Think the 1/2 favourite for his second in 2010.
Former favourite in Cox Plate betting Highland Reel remains steady in the markets at $5.50 with a brilliant barrier four draw for last year’s winning hoop Ryan Moore to ride the Galileo stallion from.
Winner of the Secretariat Stakes in the USA like his former stablemate Adelaide who won last year’s Cox Plate for Highland Reel’s trainer Adian O’Brien, the second pick could be hard to get past with the right run in the box seat this afternoon.
Occupying the third line of betting is the five-time Group 1 winner Criterion prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, the Sebring stallion looking to become the first five-year-old Cox Plate winner since Northerly (2001).
He comes off a first-up victory in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) over the same distance as the Cox Plate and so gets two weeks between runs as he returns to the Valley for the first time since his seventh to Adelaide in last year’s race.
The last galloper to secure the Caulfield Stakes – Cox Plate double was Ocean Park (2012), Criterion out to be the next with Michael Walker in the saddle for his first Cox Plate ride.
The two other hopes under $10 for the win this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival are another international raider Arod ($8.50) who Craig Williams rides from barrier five and another of Waller’s contingent Kermadec ($9).
Arod is undefeated over the distance and the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Teofilo stallion was last seen running second to Solow in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (1609m) back in late July.
Kermadec has his second run over 2000m, the Doncaster Mile – George Mile Stakes double winning Teofilo four-year-old having finished just 1.35 lengths off Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes last time out.
See below for the latest Cox Plate 2015 betting odds then visit our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au who are also offering an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in Races 1 – 5 at Moonee Valley today!