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Champion mare Winx remains the short-priced $1.16 favourite in updated Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 betting for the big one at The Valley today after the withdrawal of English raider Kaspersky.
The Jane Chapple Hyam-trained international galloper Kaspersky was found to have swelling in his near foreleg this morning and has subsequently been scratched from the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
The Cox Plate field for 2017 is down to just eight runners, giving Chris Waller’s superlative mare Winx only seven rivals to account for on way to her record equalling third win in the ‘Race Where Champions Are Made’.
After a first-up flop at Caulfield in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) running sixteenth, seven-year-old Kaspersky was an $81 roughie in Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at the time of his withdrawal.
The price on Winx to join Kingston Town (1980-82) as the only other triple Cox Plate winner remains at $1.16, the shortest since Phar Lap ($1.07) won his second in 1931.
It is now the smallest Cox Plate field line-up since Fields Of Omagh (2003) beat home seven rivals as a $17 outsider for trainer Tony McEvoy.
McEvoy saddles-up one of the Winx rivals this year with his smart Domesday colt Royal Symphony then genuine Cox Plate market mover backed in from $21 to $15.
Shamus Award (2013) was the last three-year-old Cox Plate winner and he came off a lead-up third in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Royal Symphony ran fourth behind shock triple-figure winner Mighty Boss in this year’s Caulfield Guineas and has Dean Yendall aboard today.
Kaspersky was drawn in barrier two meaning Winx will now jump from barrier five, a gate that last produced a Cox Plate winner in So You Think for his second in 2010.
Michelle Payne, who won the 2015 Melbourne Cup on the Darren Weir-trained roughie Prince Of Penzance, is now without a start in the Cox Plate field this afternoon.
Payne, 32, had secured her maiden Cox Plate ride aboard the roughie hope, but was informed along with Racing Victoria stewards at 8am local time that the galloper would not be lining-up.
“It’d be pretty special,” she has said earlier in the week.
“It’s right up there with the Melbourne Cup. Obviously it’s such a unique race because the committee only let in certain horses that they think are eligible to compete in it.”
To back Winx to beat her remaining seven rivals in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate today at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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