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The official Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 Field is now out with the super mare Winx to face eight rivals in a nine-horse line-up for the Australasian weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Chris Waller’s dual defending champion Winx is odds-on in betting to join Kingston Town with three straight wins in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and was put through her paces in an ideal piece of work on Tuesday’s Breakfast With The Best.
Chasing her 22nd straight win and 15th Group 1 victory, Winx jumps from the ideal barrier six draw in the nine-horse Cox Plate field, jockey Hugh Bowman confident as ever on the horse he describes as an “supreme athlete”.
“I’m not going to fall into the trap of not having a healthy respect of my rivals,” Bowman said after the official Cox Plate barrier draw.
“Now that we’ve got the full field and the barrier draw I’ll run through scenarios in my brain I’m sure.
“I just have so much confidence in her. She’s a supreme athlete, but I’m very careful not to be overly confident.
“The reality is I want to stay out of trouble, I want clean room and I’ll be doing my best to make that happen.”
Winx won her first Cox Plate from barrier 1 of 14 in 2015 and her second from 3 of 10 in 2016, the latter by a historical eight length winning margin.
She comes off a runaway six and a half-length victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), her first look at Flemington, and is tipped to be even more dominant returning to the tight Moonee Valley circuit.
The surprise inclusion in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate field is Turnbull Stakes third placegetter Humidor, the Darren Weir-trained Teofilo gelding on the quick back-up out of last weekend’s Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Carrying 56kg top weight in the Caulfield Cup over the mile-and-a-half running a credible fifth, Humidor drops to his preferred distance (5-3-1-1) in the Cox Plate field looking to close the gap Winx had on him in the Turnbull two back.
Humidor jumps from barrier eight, with Weir yet to confirm a jockey as the horse’s regular rider Damian Lane is on suspension.
Weir is dually represented in the field this weekend also saddling-up Gailo Chop from barrier four with Mark Zahra retaining the ride on the Deportivo seven-year-old.
Gailo Chop has been on a steady improve this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Two back he was third to Bonneval in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) before finishing first ahead of subsequent Caulfield Cup third placed raider Johannes Vermeer in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 14.
Winx won the Caulfield Stakes in the lead-up to her Cox Plate triumph last spring, Gailo Chop paying $17 to do the double in a massive boilover this season.
Along with Humidor the two other late inclusions into the Cox Plate line-up are the Lindsay Park-trained Seaburge who gets the rails run from barrier one and the David Brideoake-trained Hardham.
Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes trained and owned last weekend’s shock Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time who saluted at 50/1 odds.
This Saturday in the second of the ‘Big 3’ spring majors he and fellow Lindsay Park trainers Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig are chasing another upset with Seaburge at $101 to beat Winx.
Regan Bayliss partners the four-year-old Sebring entire who is out to improve on his last start fifth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), which followed a dead last (12th) behind Humidor in Flemington’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Hardham is the other $101 roughie in the latest Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting markets, the four-year-old Redoute’s Choice stallion also out of the Caulfield Cup having finished five lengths back for 10th.
Two internationally-trained Cox Plate horses also challenge Winx on Saturday with the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Kaspersky in barrier two looking to atone for his 16th in the Toorak Handicap on debut down under and the better fancied Folkswood.
Folkswood is at $17 to salute with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride on the Charlie Appleby-trained Godolphin raider who comes off a smart Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) win on October 15.
Rounding out the Cox Plate field are Patrick Webster’s recent Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper in the outside barrier (9) with dual winning hoop Damien Oliver aboard and three-year-old Royal Symphony in gate seven with Dean Yendall riding the beaten Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas favourite (4th).
2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 8 – 28/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x2125x1212||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Damien Oliver||9||59kg||120|
|2||1x37x01431||GAILO CHOP (FR)||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||4||59kg||117|
|3||2212×68135||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Darren Weir||Blake Shinn||8||59kg||122|
|4||37×5252720||KASPERSKY (IRE)||Jane Chapple-Hyam||Ms. Michelle Payne||2||59kg||113|
|5||2x212235x1||FOLKSWOOD (GB)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||113|
|6||82x060x005||SEABURGE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||1||57.5kg||115|
|7||x6713x7120||HARDHAM||David Brideoake||Luke Nolen||3||57.5kg||116|
|8||x1111x1111||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||6||57kg||132|
|9||111×144||ROYAL SYMPHONY||Tony McEvoy||Dean Yendall||7||49.5kg||110|
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