The money is starting to flow in on Winx in Cox Plate 2016 betting ahead of the Chris Waller-trained super mare’s shot at a 13th consecutive win and back-to-back victories in the Moonee Valley classic on Saturday.
The five-year-old daughter of Street Cry only faced two rivals last time out for her all-too-easy win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m), which saw her become an eight-time Group 1 champion and boost her prize money earned up to nearly $7.5 million.
This weekend she stays in Melbourne and is part of a 10-horse field engaged to face off in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
Winx won Australasia’s weight-for-age championship last year by nearly five lengths and returns looking for successive Cox Plate victories for the first time since So You Think (2009-10).
Hugh Bowman retains the ride and the reigning Australian Racehorse of the Year is drawn in barrier three.
Barrier three most recently produced a Cox Plate winner with Shamus Award (2013) and Bowman is pleased with the draw that will give him options in the run on Saturday aboard the horse all eyes will be on.
“There is no real designated leader in the field, so someone’s going to have to take it up,” he said at Tuesday’s Breakfast With the Best.
“From barrier three, I jump from a position where I’m not going to be committed to be making a decision I don’t want to make.
“Then again, if it is a really muddily-run race and I’m stuck inside horses, it could get awkward for me.
“Ultimately, with all due respect to other runners, what I’d like to see is Hartnell and Winx both get a fair run, a run that suits them, and we’ll see a very, very good horse race.”
Steady at $3.40 and occupying the second line of Cox Plate betting is the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell coming off the big win in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
The rest of the runners in this spring’s Cox Plate field are all easing in the markets including the French raider Vadamos ($11 out to $13) for his down under debut.
The rails-drawn filly Yankee Rose is also easing out from $13 to $14 to join Surround (1976) as the only Cox Plate winning filly in history.
The three-year-old daughter of All American was last seen posting her second elite level win with senior jockey Dean Yendall posting his first Group 1 winning ride in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) over the Cox Plate distance in Sydney.
Darren Weir’s triple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart ($17) is the only other Cox Plate horse under $20 for the win after his second to Winx in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes last time out.
The big Cox Plate betting drifter and seemingly forgotten runner in the mix is Hartnell’s stablemate, the fellow Godolphin-raced Hauraki ($17 out to $21).
He chases the Epsom Handicap – Cox Plate double achieved by Winx (2015) 12 months ago, with the other recent Epsom Handicap graduate to back-up and win the Cox Plate being Pinker Pinker (2nd in 2011).
See below for the latest Cox Plate 2016 betting markets courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply).