Irish horse Highland Reel has firmed to equal favouritism for the Cox Plate after coming up with barrier four in the weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley.
He is at $5.50 for Saturday’s 2040m-race alongside Kermadec (gate 10), the most favoured of trainer Chris Waller’s three runners.
Highland Reel will be aiming to give trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore back-to-back wins after Adelaide became the first overseas-trained horse to win last year.
Criterion, who jumps from gate seven, has eased from $5.50 to $6 alongside the Waller-trained Winx who has the inside barrier.
The third of Waller’s runners, Preferment, has barrier nine and has drifted from $11 to $14.
Godolphin has two runners – Hartnell ($18) and Complacent ($21) – after deciding not to accept with Contributer.
The absence of Contributer saved the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee making a decision on which horse to leave out of the field which has a capacity of 14.