The Joe Pride-trained sprint star Eduardo is red...
Winx will win the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Don’t be sucked into the side stories about beaten odds-on favourites throughout history.
Nothing is stopping Chris Waller’s super mare from a third success in the ‘Race Where Champions Are Made’ on Saturday.
There is little value to be had in the markets for this year’s Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), Winx at $1.16 to join Kingston Town on a trio of victories in the weight-for-age classic.
This freakish racehorse doesn’t lose. Not at The Valley. Not in the Cox Plate. Not against eight rivals from barrier six with Hugh Bowman aboard off the ideal lead-up after winning her past 21 on the trot.
The last odds-on Cox Plate favourite to lose was Lonhro ($1.60, 3rd in 2003).
Further back in Cox Plate history there was Naturalism, who fell in 1992 as the $2 top fancy in a field of 14 that was subsequently dominated by eight-year-old Super Impose.
The Winx form is different.
She has won the past two editions by runaway margins, last year setting the new record of eight lengths, and is the first dual winner to start favourite in a third Cox Plate since Kingston Town.
Kingston Town saluted as the punters’ pick in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
There has never been a two-time Cox Plate winner to start favourite a third time. Until Winx.
Of course, no one ever expects a horse as good as Winx at such short odds to lose.
That’s why they are at the price they are.
Many of the past greats to have fallen though were faced with challengers also of the highest calibre.
Taking nothing away from the Winx rivals on Saturday, it is hard to call any of the eight other runners in the Cox Plate field for 2017 turf greats.
The second favourite for example is a lightly-raced three-year-old whose only Group 1 start produced a fourth in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
There is a case to be made for Royal Symphony though, the young lightweight backed in from $21 to $16 in Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The past two three-year-old Cox Plate winners were Shamus Award (2013) and So You Think (2009) and both came off eye-catching Caulfield Guineas runs having finished third and fifth respectively.
But then, they weren’t facing Winx.
The three-year-old form held last year with the lead-up Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) winning filly Yankee Rose carrying 47.5kg to third behind Winx.
Dean Yendall rode her and jumps on the Tony McEvoy-trained Domesday colt Royal Symphony on Saturday.
Second is what the hoop, in fact all the Cox Plate jockeys outside of Bowman, are racing for at best though.
There has been zero money for anything else in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate odds and it is not hard to see why.
Winx won her first Cox Plate, travelling to The Valley for the first time in 2015 as a bonny mare at four-years-old.
She jumped favourite, but the price was $4.60 and she’ll never start at something that generous again.
The results proved she should have been half that quote, the free striding showstopper showing an immediate affinity for the track winning by nearly five lengths.
It was a race record, two minutes and 2.98 seconds.
The following spring it was a winning margin record, the mare leaving the “danger” Hartnell behind without so much as a look.
What Cox Plate record will Winx surpass this weekend?
Check out the full range of Cox Plate 2017 betting markets on Winx now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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