The 2016 Cox Plate is just around the corner and it is all about the two stars that are Winx and Hartnell. It is being built up as the match race of the century, with both horses in outstanding form leading up to the WFA championship of Australasia. So who will take the chocolates? Or could the international contender Vadamos cause an upset?
Here at Justhorseracing, we have put together a preview of the two horses form leading into the Cox Plate 2016 as well as a look at the past clashes between Winx and Hartnell.
Have Your Say: Who will win the Cox Plate? – Leave a comment below.
Breeding: Street Cry x Vegas Showgirl
Trainer: Chris Waller
Career Stats: 22: 16-3-0
2000m Stats: 3: 2-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2200m (Queensland Oaks), May 30 2015, Good surface
Dry Track Stats: 18: 14-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 4: 2-1-0
Cox Plate Price @ Sportsbet: $1.90
Short Summary: Champion mare on the cusp of becoming a legendary mare.
Second Last Start (1st)- Group l George Main Stakes (1600m), September 17 2016, Randwick, Clockwise direction, Good surface
Soft, dominant, outstanding…superlatives aplenty to describe this win, sitting back in the ruck before Bowman made his move and was near the lead on the turn and from there it was easy watching, as she glided past the subsequent Epsom winner Hauraki. Third horse has since won, the fourth horse has since won, the fifth horse has placed to the third horse and the last horse has since placed in a Group l…pretty fair form don’t you think?
Last Start (1st)- Group l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 8 2016, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface
The overall rating of the race wasn’t flash, but the final 800m of the race was that of a world class horse. She looked in complete control of the race and Bowman only had to give her a squeeze to put the race to bed, beating home Victorias best chance of a Cox Plate win. Says it all really about the Melbourne form this Spring as a whole.
Final Thought: She’s the best Australia has to offer and one of the best in the world. Any concerns about her and Melbourne were quickly erased at Caulfield where she made Black Heart Bart look ordinary. She won’t get the Cox Plate as easy as she did 12 months ago, but IMO she is racing much better in 2016 and appears stronger, which is a scary proposition for her rivals.
Breeding: Authorized x Debbonaire
Trainer: John O’Shea
Career Stats: 26: 10-5-1
2000m Stats: 8: 4-0-1
Winning Max Distance: 3219m (Queens Vase), June 20 2014, Good surface
Dry Track Stats: 16: 5-4-0
Wet Track Stats: 8: 5-1-1
Cox Plate Price @ Sportsbet: $3.20
Short Summary: Perfect prep for a Cox Plate winner. Just needs to win the race.
Second Last Start (1st)- Group ll Hill Stakes (2000m), September 17 2016, Randwick, Clockwise direction, Good surface
He did something similar prior in the Chelmsford, but this was just a procession, albeit against a bunch of stayers. But he spanked them and it was just so impressive, doing his business under minimal pressure and it was the first indicator of thinking “Hello, we have a threat to Winx here”.
— TAB (@tabcomau) September 17, 2016
Last Start (1st)- Group l Turnbull Stakes (2000m), October 2 2016, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface
The replay says it all. He won as if it was a 2000m barrier trial and was increasing the margin despite not being asked to. Yep, the second horse is Jameka and we saw what she did to them in the Caulfield Cup last week. That’s clearly the right form for a Cox Plate.
Final Thought: He is a different horse to the one Melbourne saw this time last year, and if you go back to the Cox Plate 12 months, which we will down below, you’ll see that considering the raging bias towards horses nearer the inside, his run in the race behind Winx was really good. The market place looks a touch wrong for mine. I think they should be closer. Outstanding horse who can cap off a near perfect Spring with a win here.
Winx vs Hartnell: Previous Clashes
1st Previous Clash- Group l Cox Plate (2040m), October 24 2015, Moonee Valley, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface
Most people keep bragging that Winx broke the track record in this race. Keep in mind that several class/track records were broken this day, so that point is irrelevant. Looking back at this race, Winx and Hartnell were racing alongside each other most of the way up until the 800m when McDonald on Hartnell elected to come three wide and get the seemingly ideal drag up while Winx stayed to the inside. What nobody expected was The Cleaner rolling off the inside and giving Winx the run you could only dream about. Had he stayed to his line, it could have been car crash stuff for Winx. We will never know, as for Hartnell, he got held up a bit through the carnage, but was good to the line behind Winx, who dashed clear once the gap opened and careered away to win, and was seemingly increasing the margin near the line.
2nd Previous Clash- Group l Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), February 27 2016, Randwick, Clockwise direction, Good surface
Hartnell was first up here off a couple of handy trial efforts whereas Winx had resumed with a dominant win in the Apollo Stakes (1400m). McDonald got Hartnell into the 1/1 in the run and looked in a threatening spot, until Bowman on Winx edged forward from about the 800m mark and just cruised around and while he was doing that, Hartnell was under pressure and couldn’t really go with the great mare. She careered away while Hartnell battled away for fifth. Hartnell didn’t race again in the Autumn.
3rd Previous Clash- Group ll Warwick Stakes (1400m), August 20 2016, Randwick, Clockwise direction, Good surface
This is your proper guide as to these two stars. Both horses were first up, with Winx having the two trials compared to Hartnell’s one. Winx, given there was no leader, rolled up to sit outside the speed which was set by Rebel Dane while Hartnell had the back of the mare. As soon as they sprinted, Hartnell was left a bit flatfooted, but he closed off strongly to run second to Winx, producing some very good sectionals in the process, as did Winx herself.
— MelbourneRacingClub (@Caulfield) October 6, 2016
Now…the international contender:
Breeding: Monsun x Celebre Vadala
Trainer: Andre Fabre
Career Stats: 18: 8-5-0
2000m Stats: 3: 1-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2400m (Lagrange Stakes), July 26 2014, Soft surface
Dry Track Stats: 12: 7-3-0
Wet Track Stats: 6: 1-2-0
Cox Plate Price @ Sportsbet: $15
Short Summary: Stable needs no introduction…jockey goes alright too.
Second Last Start (2nd)- Group l Jacques Le Maro (1600m), August 14 2016, Deauville, Clockwise direction, Good surface
He had a nice sit nearer the tempo before getting the inside run about 600m out where he dashed through to be near the lead before taking it. He gave a really good kick late but was nabbed in the final 100m by Ribchester, a horse who has since run second to world class galloper Minding at Ascot on Champions Day last weekend. He is the horse with white colours and yellow cap.
Last Start (1st)- Group l Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1600m), September 11 2016, Chantilly, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface
Smart win. Took the lead before the home turn and stacked them up before dashing clear and showing good fight when challenged. The runner up ran fourth in the race mentioned above, so the strength of the form is suspect but to to the eye it was a solid performance.
Can Vadamos Win?: My gut feeling is no, but you always have to respect the stable when they bring horses over, and the booking of Moreira is a ripper. But form wise, I’d say it’s on par with a horse like Hauraki if that helps you. He’ll get a sweet trip from the gate and is proven at teh distance and beyond. A must for exotics, but I don’t think he has the brilliance/x factor to beat Winx or Hartnell.
TIPS: View our Cox Plate day TIPS