Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Chris Waller’s dual defending champion Winx is the headline first acceptor for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate, entries for the weight-for-age classic down to 79 hopefuls.
Cut from the 141 nominations taken back in early August, first acceptances for the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) along with those for the Caulfield Guineas and Thousand Guineas were released by Racing Victoria on Monday.
Held at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 28, this year’s Cox Plate trophy looks to be already in the hands of Waller and connections of super mare Winx.
She won the race in 2015 and successfully defended her title with a record breaking eight length success over Hartnell last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Hall of Famer is already odds-on at $1.50 in futures Cox Plate odds through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au to join Kingston Town (1980-82) as the only triple winner of the classic.
Winx races third-up in Sydney on Saturday chasing her 20th consecutive turf triumph in Randwick’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) before heading south for her Cox Plate tilt.
Waller has six remaining Cox Plate hopefuls with his other best fancied for the title being four-year-old Sebring mare Egg Tart, winner of the Schweppes Oaks – ATC Oaks double last season and last seen running second in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
The other Waller-trained Cox Plate first acceptances are: Comin’ Through, Foxplay, McCreery and Tom Melbourne.
The dominance of Winx in the early Cox Plate betting markets means no other first acceptor is under $21 to score an upset win.
That $21 chance is the Godolphin-raced runner-up from last year, Hartnell, who may instead race the Saturday prior in the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Third in the Melbourne Cup trifecta in 2016 after his Cox Plate second, the now James Cummings-trained import is pre-field favourite to take out the Caulfield Cup despite having been allocated the 58kg top weight this week for the October 21 staying showdown.
Hartnell is joined in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate first declarations by stablemates Spectroscope, and three-year-olds Kementari and Sanctioned.
Then maiden Shamus Award (2013) was the last three-year-old Cox Plate winner for his upset win as a $21 outside, ridden to victory by apprentice Chad Schofield.
Other notable three-year-olds still in the Cox Plate mix including Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Catchy, her flying stablemate Formality who chases a third win this time in on Saturday in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes in Sydney and Ciaron Maher’s undefeated colt Merchant Navy.
Top Victorian horseman Darren Weir is still in with three possible Cox Plate contenders led by Japanese import Tosen Stardom ($26) who finished third to Vega Magic in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
Weir’s other entries are Australian Guineas winner Humidor ($34) who holds nominations for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, and Gailo Chop ($41) who won the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes back in 2015.
Other notable horses that could take on Winx in the Cox Plate field this October include early Caulfield Cup fancy Bonneval who won last weekend’s Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes first-up at Moonee Valley and Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas-bound colt Royal Symphony.
The best of the remaining international Cox Plate entries meanwhile is Deauville ($41) prepared in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien who won the race three years back with Adelaide (2014).
O’Brien still has five entries in total including also this year’s Epsom Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher.
The 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate second acceptances close on September 26, making now the time to get behind Winx to win before her price firms further.
2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate First Acceptances
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 28/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|1||11x8400x72||ABBEY MARIE||M||5||Michael Kent|
|2||x665111x2x||ALMANDIN (GER)||G||8||Robert Hickmott|
|3||7x39x12x1x||ALOFT (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|4||52x12x||ALOISIA (NZ)||F||3||Ciaron Maher|
|5||0x0D71x000||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||8||Robert Hickmott|
|6||161||ANGELIC SPIRIT (NZ)||F||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|7||2x48x18025||BEST SOLUTION (IRE)||H||4||Saeed Bin Suroor|
|8||x11x330x9x||BONDI BEACH (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|9||x5P31111x1||BONNEVAL (NZ)||M||4||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman|
|10||11110x2x||CATCHY||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|11||51×12446||CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien|
|12||21x5338x1x||COMIN’ THROUGH||H||4||Chris Waller|
|13||3x7213323x||DEAUVILLE (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien|
|14||x113380x34||ECUADOR (NZ)||G||8||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|15||31x11111x2||EGG TART||M||4||Chris Waller|
|16||3111617×42||ESHTIRAAK||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|17||267614246x||EXTRA ZERO||G||11||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|18||32x212235x||FOLKSWOOD (GB)||G||5||Charlie Appleby|
|19||11302×11||FORMALITY||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|20||x533x0x038||FOUNDATION (IRE)||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|22||x181x37x01||GAILO CHOP (FR)||G||7||Darren Weir|
|23||1x4011115x||GINGERNUTS (NZ)||G||4||Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards|
|24||820x076x07||GREY LION (IRE)||H||6||Matt Cumani|
|25||469x2125x1||HAPPY CLAPPER||G||7||Patrick Webster|
|26||6333x6759x||HAPPY HANNAH||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|28||2x34340x46||HARLOW GOLD (NZ)||M||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|29||23x2822x1x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||7||James Cummings|
|30||10x8747x46||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|31||4x31196x14||HEY DOC||G||4||Tony McEvoy|
|32||9x42212x68||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||5||Darren Weir|
|33||x271183x47||I AM A STAR (NZ)||M||4||Shane Nichols|
|34||33x5126x6x||INFERENCE||H||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|35||1541112×13||INVINCIBLE GEM||M||4||Kris Lees|
|36||1x3x45712x||JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien|
|37||93337311×6||JON SNOW (NZ)||H||4||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman|
|38||x37x525272||KASPERSKY (IRE)||H||7||Jane Chapple-Hyam|
|40||522x44526x||LANCASTER BOMBER (USA)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien|
|41||1x11202x25||LE ROMAIN||G||5||Kris Lees|
|43||9028x337x7||MAURUS (GB)||G||7||John P Thompson|
|44||2x156495x8||MCCREERY (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller|
|45||111×1||MERCHANT NAVY||C||3||Ciaron Maher|
|46||35x2111x08||MONTOYA’S SECRET||M||4||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|47||11638×3||MURAAHIB||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|48||1×5||OUYANG FENG (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price|
|49||x2114x9066||PRIZE MONEY (GB)||G||5||Saeed Bin Suroor|
|50||3311255×42||RED EXCITEMENT||G||8||Gerald Ryan|
|51||x5x21x105x||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||G||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|52||11x1380x00||RISQUE (NZ)||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|53||48442×3151||RIVEN LIGHT (IRE)||G||6||William Mullins|
|54||111x||ROYAL SYMPHONY||C||3||Tony McEvoy|
|55||41231x2x21||SAMOVARE||M||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|56||13×14||SANADAAT||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|58||1x6321220x||SAVILE ROW (NZ)||H||4||Michael Moroney|
|59||21112x211x||SCALES OF JUSTICE||G||5||Lindsey Smith|
|60||4282x060x0||SEABURGE||H||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|61||x12x3361x8||SENSE OF OCCASION||G||7||Kris Lees|
|62||114407x5x8||SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GB)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|63||x114173x54||SNITZSON||H||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|64||44x4030x22||SO SI BON||H||4||Robbie Laing|
|65||480x35011x||SOUND PROPOSITION (NZ)||G||6||Kris Lees|
|66||33x1106x7x||SPECTROSCOPE (USA)||H||5||James Cummings|
|67||46557x135x||STEEL OF MADRID (IRE)||H||5||Tony McEvoy|
|68||2112x||SUMMER PASSAGE||C||3||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott|
|69||5×22446925||TAJ MAHAL (IRE)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien|
|70||4x234161x7||THE MISSION||C||3||Paul Perry|
|71||7x65x91||THY KINGDOM COME||C||3||John P Thompson|
|72||23x6905x22||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller|
|73||09x4x22x53||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||H||7||Darren Weir|
|74||124135x2x||TULIP||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|75||x9171x1x11||VEGA MAGIC||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|76||601121x5x7||VENTURA STORM (IRE)||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|77||521||WASSERGEIST||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|79||21x6D130x9||YANKEE ROSE||M||4||David Vandyke|
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