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Jockey Kerrin McEvoy believes his ride in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field on Saturday Folkswood needs to be running personal best to get anywhere near the dual defending champion Winx.
Winx is racing for another slice of history at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), Chris Waller’s unparalleled mare looking to join Kingston Town with three consecutive wins in the weight-for-age classic.
The latest Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au post-barrier draw have the Street Cry six-year-old at $1.16 to salute from barrier six with Hugh Bowman aboard following her nice early morning gallop at The Valley on Tuesday morning.
There are three chances following at $18 as the equal second elects in Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting, before punters can find Godolphin raider Folkswood at $21.
McEvoy retains the ride on the Charlie Appleby-trained son of Exceed And Excel after riding the gelding for a first-up win down under on October 15.
Folkswood recorded his first win since February running away by two and three-quarter lengths in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).
McEvoy had the option to stick with the international Cox Plate contender in the big one this weekend, or jump on three-year-old Royal Symphony ($18) for his uncle Tony McEvoy.
The hoop opted for the more experienced horse, leaving the lightweight ride aboard Royal Symphony (49.5kg) for Dean Yendall to pick up.
“I won on this fellow at Cranbourne and that sort of swayed my mind,” McEvoy said post-Cox Plate barrier draw on Tuesday morning, Folkswood drawing gate five.
“He put in a good effort at Cranbourne.
“[His run] suggested he’ll handle Moonee Valley no issues.”
Of course, regardless of his choice of Cox Plate horses, McEvoy is likely running for the $440,000 second prize money at best with Winx there to dominate proceedings.
“It’s the Cox Plate so we’re going to go out there and do our best,” he said.
“Obviously she’s a champion and we have to go and try to ride to her level.
“We need to concentrate on the fact that this is a champions’ race and we’ve got to go there and try to do our best to win it.
“It’s going to be game on on Saturday.
“I think he can run really well, but he’s got to run a personal best to get anywhere near Winx.”
Folkswood is one of two overseas-trained raiders in the mix along with $81 outsider Kaspersky, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s seven-year-old out to atone for his unplaced 16th in the Toorak Handicap on October 14.
Kaspersky drew near the inside alley with barrier two, which last produced a Cox Plate winner back in 1998 with Might And Power, but the British-based Chapple-Hyam said her horse would not be leading the field around on Saturday.
“I don’t think you will see him lead on Saturday,” she said.
And as for her horse’s winning chances?
“It is not going to happen so we don’t have to talk about it,” she conceded.
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