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Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed plans to head into the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate clash against super mare Winx with his beaten Caulfield Guineas favourite Royal Symphony.
Chris Waller’s Hall of Famer Winx has won the past two editions of the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in emphatic fashion and is the one to beat again this spring as she looks to emulate the three-peat performance of Kingston Town (1980-82).
Already Winx, last seen running away for a six and a half length win in her Flemington debut to take out the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), is odds-on in Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting at $1.20 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
All other weight-for-age hopefuls will likely be running for second at best in the Cox Plate results of 2017, but that hopefully won’t stop a quality field being assembled in the feature on October 28.
Now occupying the second line of the all-in Cox Plate odds at $17 is three-year-old Royal Symphony, confirmed by McEvoy as a contender on Monday.
“I need to make up my mind soon [about a Cox Plate jockey] as Kerrin McEvoy is on standby to ride him and he’ll need to start dieting to get down to the weight,” McEvoy told News Corp on Monday morning.
Jockey McEvoy is the trainer’s nephew and is yet to ride a Cox Plate winner.
He was successful in the 2008 Caulfield Cup aboard international visitor All The Good however and gets the chance at another win in that mile and a half feature partnering one time favourite Bonneval in the race on Saturday.
Kiwi mare Bonneval, sixth as the beaten favourite in last Saturday’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m), is in the Caulfield Cup field on 52.5kg.
McEvoy though will need to get down to 49.5kg to ride three-year-old Domesday colt Royal Symphony in the Cox Plate field.
A winner of his opening four starts, Royal Symphony has run fourth as the beaten favourite in his past two starts both at Caulfield Racecourse.
The latest saw the youngster run two and a quarter-lengths off the upset $101 winner Mighty Boss in last Saturday’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) with Dwayne Dunn aboard.
Royal Symphony is likely to be the only three-year-old Cox Plate contender this spring.
In the past decade two three-year-olds have carried the light weight to a Cox Plate triumph with So You Think saluted at 12/1 in 2009 before returning to win as a four-year-old the following year, and Shamus Award who scored an upset as a 20/1 shot breaking his maiden status in the classic.
Post the Cox Plate, Royal Symphony is expected to train on for a shot at the Group 1 $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday November 4 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Main Stage ($6) leads the latest VRC Derby odds after a win in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) on October 7, while Royal Symphony is the $7 second elect.
To back Royal Symphony over the spring at the right Group 1 racing odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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