It is always the great debate in the days leading up to the Tuesday Morning and the Breakfast with the Stars at Moonee Valley- Who will make the final field for the Cox Plate? Well here at Justhorseracing, we have come up with our likely final field for the great race.
Likely 2015 Cox Plate Final Field (In Alphabetical Order):
1. Arod: Last start ran Solow to a half length and Solow is one of the best horses in the world. Hasn’t won a Group l but did place in the Lockinge Stakes (1609) at Newbury in May. But he is an International, so he will be guaranteed a start and he will be a live chance.
2. Complacent: Needed the run first up but he has been fantastic in the three runs since, with two wins, including a memorable Craven Plate (2000m) triumph at Randwick. Out of the Godolphin runners, he is the one definitely assured a start.
3. Criterion: Had a fabulous UK prep without winning, but came back down under and stamped his credentials with an outstanding win in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m). He is the favourite and rightfully so. He will take a power of beating.
4. Fawkner: Strong first up winner of the Makybe Diva, then was a close second to Mourinho in the Underwood before an ordinary sixth to Criterion where perhaps he was ridden upside down. He loves racing at this track and went very close to winning this race last year.
5. Gailo Chop: Yet to win a Group l, but go back to last year in the Belmont Derby and he ran fourth. Adelaide, the 2014 Cox Plate winner, ran second. He is an International, so he is assured a start.
6. Happy Trails: He is just a beauty who always tries his heart out. Hadn’t been racing with a great amount of luck, but he showed he is is spot on for the Cox Plate with a close second to Criterion. He has come so close to winning this race on a couple of occasions.
7. Hartnell: Probably the first controversial acceptor. He has only raced twice this Spring, resuming with a fourth behind stablemate Complacent before an excellent sixth to Preferment in the Turnbull. He is ticking along beautifully for the Melbourne Cup but he will take some beating here if he gets a start, and I think he will.
8. Highland Reel: Comes here off the back of a dominant win in the Secretariat before a poor showing in the Irish Champion behind Golden Horn, who came out and won the Arc de Triomphe. The Secretariat win was eye catching for the right reasons. The Irish Champion was eye catching for the wrong reasons. But trained by Aidan O’Brien, he has to be respected.
9. Kermadec: Doncaster winner who won the George Main two back before failing in the Caulfield Stakes. Many were pleased with his effort. IMO, he was disappointing for a horse highly talked up. I couldn’t back him here, but he has the credits in the bank to get a start.
10. Mourinho: Controversially left out of the field last year, and the talk is getting louder that he will miss out again in 2015, but on his current form, he can’t be left out. He is a Group l winner and Group ll winner in recent times, and he loves racing at the Valley. He is in form, so he has to be in the field surely.
11. Pornichet: His three runs in Sydney were excellent before failing in the Caulfield Stakes where he just pulled his head off in the run. He is one of the 50/50 runners that could well miss out, but I think he deserves his spot given he is a Group l winner at the distance, and his form prior to Caulfield was excellent.
12. Preferment: A serious chance for the Melbourne Cup and will be a serious chance here off the back of a dominant win in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m). His win in the Hill Stakes prior was tough and gritty, beating home a subsequent Group l winner.
13. The Cleaner: Assured a start thanks to winning the Dato Tan. He will set the speed and give a great sight for his supporters and will do Tasmania proud. It wouldn’t be a total shock if he won.
14. Winx: Star mare who produced an unbelievable finish to win the Epsom last start. She is proven at this distance at Group l level, albeit against her own age and sex, but she is flying and is high up in the market.
I have left out Contributer. His form in the Autumn was outstanding, but I have done this field on current form, and on current form, you couldn’t possibly have Contributer ahead of any of these runners IMO. He has done nothing really in three runs, including behind The Cleaner.