Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Nominations for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2019 are now out featuring 187 gallopers and for the first time in five years the Group 1 Moonee Valley classic will be missing champion mare Winx.
Australasia’s weight-for-age championship is set to take place at The Valley on Saturday October 26 and for nearly half-a-decade has been dominated by Chris Waller’s since retired superstar Winx who won all four editions from 2015-18.
Racing Victoria took the 2019 Cox Plate nominations on Tuesday with early entries up from 135 in 2018 to 187 for the 99th edition of the time-honoured showdown.
It is class galore in this year’s Cox Plate nomination list with an incredible 52 Group 1 winners.
2019 Cox Plate Nominations: The Numbers
- 187 nominated horses
- Up from 135 in 2018
- 27 international entries
- 11 for Irish horseman Aidan O’Brien
- 52 Group 1 winners
- 6 previous Cox Plate runners
- 55 three-year-olds (48 from Australasia)
- 1 favourite – Mystic Journey
- 23 for Chris Waller (of Winx fame)
- 10 for James Cummings (Godolphin)
It will be a star-studded affair in the Cox Plate (2040) this October with a distinctly international flavour.
There were a bumper 27 international Cox Plate entries this season from four different countries including 11 for Irish horseman Aidan O’Brien.
O’Brien, one of a dozen overseas stables nominating for the race, won the Cox Plate back in 2014 with the then Irish-trained Adelaide and is back chasing the trophy once again.
His charge led by English Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck along with Royal Ascot Group 1 champion Circus Maximus.
“To win a Cox Plate, you need a horse with plenty of tactical speed that gets a mile and a quarter well,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria.
“We have entered 11 horses that we think might suit the race, but of course some of them don’t always progress as well as we were hoping. But Anthony Van Dyck and Circus Maximus are two very hardy colts with good tactical speed, and both should handle nice ground.
“It’s probably too early at this stage to say who our number one seed is, we usually nominate a number of horses and then we will see how they progress from now.”
O’Brien could be coming up against his Melbourne Cup winning son Joseph who has four Cox Plate entries of his own.
Two years back O’Brien Jnr. took out the world’s richest handicap with Rekindling for owner Lloyd Williams.
Hall of Famer Williams is also behind three of the stable’s four Cox Plate hopes in 2019 – Latrobe, Master Of Realty and Buckhurst.
Another key international hope is the Tomokazu Takano-trained Kluger from Japan who finished second to Winx in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney this April as a $51 roughie.
Also among the potential line-up are also six horses with a previous Cox Plate run on their record and the youngsters are out in force with 55 three-year-old entries.
Forty-eight of those three-year-old Cox Plate nominees are from Australasian including the Anthony Cummings-trained JJ Atkins winner in Brisbane Prince Fawaz and fellow Group 1 winning colt Castelvecchio.
Winx’s trainer Waller meanwhile could attempt an incredible fifth consecutive Cox Plate success this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The master trainer is in the mix with 23 hopefuls including ATC Oaks winner Verry Elleegant and Arcadia Queen who is a confirmed $14 million The Everest horse this spring.
With four-time Cox Plate hero Winx now in the breeding barn the $5 million feature opens up and pre-field markets at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au have Mystic Journey as the early favourite.
Adam Trinder’s now four-year-old daughter of Needs Further made history as the first Tasmanian-trained Group 1 winner in 100 years back in March when saluting in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
The gun filly then beat home the older horses in the inaugural $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) back at Flemington and has enjoyed two subsequent trial wins at home ahead of her much awaited spring return.
Her latest hit-out was on Tuesday morning just before the Cox Plate nominations closed, Mystic Journey strong to the line over the 800m at Devonport on the Synthetic track under the guidance of apprentice Chris Graham.
Godolphin trainer James Cummings has 10 nominees led by Avilius who won the Ranvet – Tancred Stakes double in Sydney over the autumn.
The Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2019 first acceptances will be taken at midday, Tuesday September 10, 2019.
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