The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Danny Shum’s Sha Tin king, Romantic Warrior, is firm favourite to defeat a class field of local weight-for-age stars at The Valley in Saturday’s time-honoured Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2023.
Betting on the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) is an open affair this season with seven of the 12 final acceptors all at single-figures for the win.
Donning the number one saddlecloth and sitting top of the latest Cox Plate odds online at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.80 is Hong Kong raider Romantic Warrior.
The dual Queen Elizabeth II Cup champion has a brilliant record at the distance and presents fit second-up off an eye-catching first run in Australia.
Fresh he ran a slashing fourth behind Gold Trip at Flemington in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Romantic Warrior is now out to become the second Cox Plate favourite in as many years to salute for the punters after the 2022 victory by Anamoe ($2.40).
James McDonald continues associations from a mid-field barrier seven draw with So You Think (2009) the last Cox Plate winner from the gate.
The danger occupying the second line of Cox Plate betting post-acceptances is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained cult galloper Alligator Blood ($5.50).
The Gator chases his third Group 1 win on the trot after impressing with lead-up victories in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Might And Power (2000m).
The Might And Power at Caulfield was the All Too Hard seven-year-old’s first at the 2000m.
He proved at his third attempt at the distance he was not just a miler when defeating 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare by a commanding two lengths.
Tim Clark continues associations on the weekend with the pair to jump from an ideal barrier five draw.
The next best at $8 is three-year-old Militarize for trainer Chris Waller who famously won the Cox Plate four years running with Winx (2015-18).
Apprentice Zac Lloyd has the ride fourth-up on the three-time Group 1 winning Dundeel colt who recently won the Golden Rose in Sydney before a fifth to Griff in the Caulfield Guineas over the mile.
He drops back from 57kg that run to just 49.5kg at WFA against the older gallopers and rates highly here from barrier three.
Waller also saddles-up Fangirl as a $9 fancy with his class Sebring mare the best fancied of the female gallopers in this year’s Cox Plate field.
She has won two of her past three starts this prep in Sydney including an impressive 2.67 length romp home over the beaten favourite Mr Brightside in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m)on October 14.
Saturday marks Fangirl’s first run at The Valley.
She is in Melbourne for the first time since 2021 so how she handles the notoriously tight circuit and left-hand way of racing will be key.
Mr Brightside meanwhile is shorter at Cox Plate odds of $7.50 to return to winning form.
The country’s premier miler jumps from barrier two with Craig Williams in the saddle.
The horse has an excellent Moonee Valley record of three wins from four starts, but needs to stretch his brilliance out to 2000m.
Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider Victoria Road ($9) in barrier six for in-form hoop Blake Shinn and the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip ($9) on the quick back-up from his Caulfield Cup third complete the hopes under $10 for the win.
For value the longer-priced Cox Plate contenders after an upset are the Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki ($23) in the outside barrier, his stablemate My Oberon ($46) in gate four, three-year-old King Colorado ($26), Edward Cummings’ early market mover Duais ($35) with the inside run from barrier one, and the Enver Jusufovic-trained Pinstriped ($71) who looks outclassed here.
The 2023 Ladbrokes Cox Plate is set to run as Moonee Valley Race 9 at 5:10pm (AEDT) with the latest markets available by clicking here.
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