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Magic Wand will be back in Australia to target the Cox Plate

The best two minutes in Australian sport is how racing fans down under describe the Cox Plate, and with the race growing in stature world wide, those from overseas are becoming more interested in claiming the WFA championship of Australasia.

Here at Justhorseracing, weโ€™ve put together a preview of key runners likely to take their place at Moonee Valley.

 

Cox Plate ๐Ÿ†:ย View the latest Cox Plate odds

 

Armory

Breeding: Galileo x After
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 11: 4-2-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1408m/2012m
Career Best Win: Irish Futurity, August 23 2019, Curragh, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 6: 2-1-2
Wet Track Stats: 4: 2-1-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate/Mackinnon Stakes
Short Summary: Got the class/quality form to win the Cox Plate…can he run a strong 2040m?

Gold Cup (2012m), July 26 2020, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Stablemate and star mare Magical was able to get control in front and those behind really had no chance, including Armory. He came out for a look and threatened for a fleeting moment but the champion mare kicked into gear and was too good. I do like the fact that Armory didn’t throw in the towel.

Irish Champion Stakes (2012m), September 12 2020, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Quality effort behind two world class gallopers. Had the drop on Magical and Ghaiyyath, who went toe-to-toe for a fair way, but nothing was getting past them. Armory peeled out and loomed, but just lacked the class of the first two, but stayed on to run third.

Final Summary: The guide here, some guide anyway, is when Aidan O’Brien won this race in 2014 with Adelaide. On exposed form, Armory is a much better horse with that form around Magical just reading so well. His win in the 2000m race two back was against somewhat moderate opposition, but I keep coming back to Magical, Ghaiyyath and to a lesser extent, Pinatubo from last year. He’s a live chance.

 

Aspetar

Breeding: Al Kazeem x Bella Qatara
Trainer: Roger Charlton
Nationality: British/French
Career Stats: 13: 5-2-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2011m/2400m
Career Best Win: Preis Von Europa, September 22 2019, Cologne, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 4-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 5: 1-1-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: Deserves his spot…not sure he’s classy enough.

Coral Gara (2002m), July 5 2020, Sandown (UK), Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Was there to win and I thought was given a peach by Jason Watson. Just found one too good in Magny Cours, who has solid enough form and the beaten brigade in behind this race had quality too, so think the form reads okay.

York Stakes (2063m), July 5 2020, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was somewhat of a surprise win given he started $12, but gee he was impressive in getting the job done. Big tick to the subsequent form with three winners, all of which have been at Group level, and the depth in this York race was solid enough.

Final Summary: I do find him a fascinating runner. He’s a winner who comes here with confidence. My query with him is whether or not he’s got the quality to beat some high class animals that will likely take their place in the Cox Plate. Still, I’m giving him respect.

 

Magic Wand

Breeding: Galileo x Prudenzia
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 28: 4-9-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1609m/2405m
Career Best Win: Mackinnon Stakes, November 9 2020, Flemington, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 21: 4-7-1
Wet Track Stats: 7: 0-2-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: Her peak figures have come in Melbourne. Only thing saving me from saying she’s making up the numbers.

Mackinnon Stakes (1600m), November 9 2019, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was an outstanding win given a few days prior, she contested the Melbourne Cup, when somewhat luckless. Heavily backed to win this race and under Ryan Moore, she was too classy for her rivals and got a deserved Group l win.

Blandford Stakes (2012m), September 13 2020, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This really sums up her 2020 racing year. High expectations, but failing and failing quite dismally and to be fair, this wasn’t a strong race, so the fact she was so weak late does leave me with a huge question mark on how well she is going, especially given she could have contested Group l races that weekend but instead tackled this weaker event.

Final Summary: As I said above, the saving grace for her is that she thrived in Australia last year. IMO, she’s not going well enough to win a Cox Plate, nor the Mackinnon. If she brings what she’s been producing in recent runs, her best chance of winning a race would be the Empire Rose on Derby Day, but the stable already have Wichita lined up for that race.

 

Sir Dragonet

Breeding: Camelot x Sparrow
Trainer: Ciaron Maher/David Eustace
Nationality: Australian/Irish
Career Stats: 9: 2-4-0
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2458m/2505m
Career Best Win: Chester Vase, May 8 2019, Chester, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 3: 0-1-0
Wet Track Stats: 6: 2-3-0
Target Race(s): Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Previous connections were hellbent on winning a Group l over 2000m. Do the new connections keep the faith or will this tune him up for a Melbourne Cup?

Chester Vase (2458m), May 8 2019, Chester, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

This is what he is capable of. He gave them a proper spanking in the Coolmore colours. The form around him is mixed, but there is subsequent Group l winners in the race, so in that regard, a big tick for the form.

Gold Cup (2012m), July 26 2020, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Loved the way he closed off here behind one of the best Mares in the business in Magical. Sir Dragonet was clearly no match for her, but closed off strongly and confirmed his ticket on the plane to Australia with interests from here buying into him.

Final Summary: Coolmore were hellbent on winning a 2000m Group l with him, so the Cox Plate seems the logical race for him, maybe even the McKinnon, but the new connections have purchased him with a Melbourne Cup in mind, so it will be fascinating to see how he goes. The three times he has been at 2400m+, he has been very good, so he commands respect in whatever he contests.

 
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