A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Backing Winx to dominate the Cox Plate 2017 results shapes-up as a ‘better than bank interest’ investment, but is there some big value to be had in what horses you lock in to run behind her in the Cox Plate Trifecta?
Winx is $1.16 in the latest Ladbrokes.com.au markets for the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The reasons for Chris Waller’s mare to be at such a prohibitive price in Cox Plate betting are well documented.
She is a once in a lifetime kind of horse and is out to be just the second triple Cox Plate winner in history along with Kingston Town (1980-82).
Her lead-up win at Flemington, her first look at Headquarters, put the writing on the wall.
Winx was effortless with a six and a half length romp home in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Now she gets to Moonee Valley, a circuit that suits her racing style and where she’s undefeated having won the past two editions of the Cox Plate by increasingly incredible margins.
There are no real dangers in the Cox Plate field this year, but the punters have had a tickle on the three-year-old Royal Symphony ($16) out to join Shamus Award (2013) and So You Think (2009) as the most recent youngsters to take out the classic.
He comes off the same lead-up as those two, a fast-finishing run in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas when fourth over the mile, and has last year’s third placed hoop Dean Yendall (Yankee Rose) in the saddle.
Everything else has drifted including Happy Clapper ($26) who faces Winx for the sixth time, Ladbrokes Stakes winner Gailo Chop ($20) who could be Melbourne Cup-bound and the stablemate Humidor ($20) out to improve off a fifth in last weekend’s Caulfield Cup.
Earlier we had a look over the full line-up providing our 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Field: Back or Sack guide.
Now it’s time to confirm the Races.com.au team’s official Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 Trifecta Tip.
#8 Winx ($1.16)
There’s not enough time to say why Winx will salute in her third Cox Plate. The pressure of this race and the tight Moonee Valley track suit and she’s proven that going back-to-back in this WFA classic. She broke the track record (set by Might And Power) in 2015 and then the winning margin record (set by Sunline / Dulcify) in 2016. The last time a two-time Cox Plate winner jumped favourite in their third was when Kingston Town made history. He remains the only three-peat Cox Plate holder. Winx will join him getting all the space she needs early to stay out of trouble from barrier six as the rest jostle for positions. Her explosive finish gets her home well ahead of all else. Group 1 No. 15 and consecutive win No. 22 call at the finish line, along with a powerhouse roar from the sold-out crowd.
#5 Folkswood ($21)
Happy to lock in the easing odds on this Charlie Appleby-trained UK visitor to finish runner-up in the Cox Plate quinella. Think he’ll be about the same length off that Hartnell was in 2016 (eight lengths), but gets a chance after winning first-up down under in the Cranbourne Cup by 2.75 lengths. Kerrin McEvoy turned down the Royal Symphony ride to stick with this Godolphin-owned international. The way he got around Cranbourne suggests The Valley will suit, one inside of Winx at the jump and one off her at the finish.
#7 Hardham ($151)
The $151 roughie of the field, and sure he was disappointing in the Caulfield Cup last weekend. Take Winx out of Saturday’s race though and it’s wide open so why not go for the value? The form is better than the odds suggest. Barrier three for the four-year-old who is proven at the track / distance winning last year’s Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes. That’s already a plus facing many who are at Moonee Valley for the first time. Third in the ATC Derby beaten under a length. Winner at Flemington two back, second to Wheal Leisure after that in the Inglis Cup, but should have won. Was five lengths away 10th in the Caulfield Cup, but back to this distance and returning to Moonee Valley, genuine roughie place chance.
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