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One of the international Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 invitees Ribchester put the writing on the wall for a possible clash with Winx in Australia this spring winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot overnight (AEST) in a track record.
The opening day of Royal Ascot was full of possible Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival-bound contenders including Thomas Hobson eyeing a Melbourne Cup 2017 bid and impressive Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) winner Ribchester.
The Godolphin-raced four-year-old was one of the eight international horses the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) extended an invitation to for this year’s $3 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) on October 28.
Richard Fahey prepares the in-form galloper who made it two-from-two with William Buick guiding Ribchester to a tidy win for the punters in the Queen Anne Stakes over the mile.
The horse won in 1:36.60s, setting a new mile track record surpassing the previous won set by Integral by 0.49s.
The number of international raiders taking to the Moonee Valley each October in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship has been steadily rising since the 2014 win by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish galloper Adelaide.
Cox Plate results from the past two years however have been dominated by the now Hall Of Fame mare Winx (2015-16) who made history in 2016 successfully defending her title with a record eight length victory.
Chris Waller’s superstar is now odds-on in futures Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $1.50 to make it three-from-three, a feat only ever achieved by Kingston Town (1980-82).
After his Royal Ascot win, Ribchester has moved up the all-in Cox Plate odds online into $21 to score the upset.
The powerhouse Godolphin stable had to settle for second in the Cox Plate last year with their always honest Australian-trained Hartnell.
Fahey plans to race Ribchester next-up at Goodwood in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, a race the horse placed third to The Gurkha in last year, before confirming Cox Plate ambitions.
Another Queen Anne Stakes graduate being considered for a start in this spring’s Cox Plate field is the fifth-placed Kaspersky ridden by former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne.
Payne is set to take over the training of the Australian-bound stallion and Tweeted out her Cox Plate hopes in the early hours of Wednesday morning in cheeky fashion.
“Fantastic run! Did us proud. We’re possibly thinking a 2040m race the week before Melbourne Cup week.”
Ladbrokes Cox Plate nominations for 2017 close at midday on Tuesday August 8, making now the time to head to race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au for the best futures betting on the Moonee Valley classic.
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