The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Punters are hard-pressed finding the value in the Cox Plate 2016 betting tips this weekend with Winx all the rage firming into the hard-to-beat odds-on favourite in the Moonee Valley classic.
Twelve months ago she won the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) in effortless fashion, her closest rival Criterion (2nd) nearly five lengths back.
When she won the Cox Plate last year the Street Cry mare made it five straight wins.
She is now looking down the barrel of her 13th consecutive victory and there’s more money on her to success than any other runner in any other race this spring carnival.
It takes a special horse to handle weight-for-age at the Valley and take home a Cox Plate trophy.
It takes a champion to do it twice, and Winx is just that, a champion.
But there’s still a Cox Plate trifecta to tip and two other horses to finish in the money behind Chris Waller’s superstar.
So will the Cox Plate quinella read like the bookies are predicting with the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell running the second best of the field?
Can a smoky get up and add value to the Cox Plate trifecta like the Caulfield Stakes runner-up Black Heart Bart ($26) who will be ridden more quietly not up front like the sitting duck he was for Winx to shoot down last time out?
Read on for our exclusive 2016 Cox Plate Trifecta Tip then head to Ladbrokes.com.au for Enhanced Odds on the race (T&Cs apply).
#8 Winx ($1.80)
It’s hard to back a horse firming this fast, but even odds-on Winx is the one we’re tipping. She’s better than bank interest and still at more generous Cox Plate odds than So You Think ($1.50 in 2010) when he won his second. No reigning champ has attempted back-to-back wins since, but Winx is the right type to make history. They got the draw they were after (3) and Hugh Bowman is as hard to stop right now as the mighty mare he is aboard in this major. There’s a case to be made that Hartnell is travelling better than Australia’s No. 1 horse, but at the Valley he’ll be chasing her home for second.
#3 Hartnell ($3.70)
There’s a few other proven weight-for-age Group 1 winners that could get in for an upset place, but really what Hartnell has done since his last encounter with Winx (2nd in the Warwick Stakes over 1400m first-up) is hard to knock. He was ultra-impressive with the big Turnbull Stakes win last start at Flemington, just needs to handle the Valley now. This run has been timed to perfection, but with the Melbourne Cup still pending and this his third 2000m start on the trot, he could be needing more meters. That said, he’s got the right form and he is impressing all more and more each time he takes to the track. Strap in for a super final 200m.
#10 Yankee Rose ($16)
The Cox Plate trifecta is open. There are just so many with claims to finish in third including Black Heart Bart and the distance specialist Lucia Valentina who won the Sydney equivalent to this – the Queen Elizabeth Stakes – in the autumn in fine style. History shows that fillies don’t win Cox Plates. The only one to do so was Surround (1976). Don’t think this David Vandyke-trained daughter of All American will break the drought, but she’s worthy at a shot at the light weight. The Spring Champion Stakes win over the distance in Sydney last time out was good enough to suggest she can match it with the older horses at WFA.
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