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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Japanese mare Lys Gracieux heads the market in the Cox Plate

The Final Field for the 2019 Cox Plate has been released and there are quite a few horses we haven’t seen race before in Australia or haven’t been seen in awhile. We take a look at those horses and give race replays, comments and information on each of them.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the International horses in this years Cox Plate.

Market 💰: View the odds for the Cox Plate

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.

3. Kluger

Breeding: King Kamehameha x Addicted
Trainer: Tomokazu Takano
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 22: 5-4-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: Milers Cup, April 24 2016, Kyoto, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 20: 5-4-2
Wet Track Stats: 2: 0-0-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: All you need to say is Winx form

Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), April 13 2019, Randwick, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

It was rare during the Winx streak that you thought “Hello, she’s got company”, but that’s what Kluger did here. He took that inside run and showed a really good turn of foot, matching strides with the great mare for a few strides, but in the end, class and brilliance was the difference, but he kept chasing and produced an outstanding performance in her farewell.

To view this replay click here.

Sapporo Kinen (2000m), August 18 2019, Sapporo, Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

First and only run since the Queen Elizabeth and the run was just fair. Sat behind the speed and looked to travel okay but never really fired a shot in the straight and just whacked away to run eighth, but those in front that ran 1-2-3 are high quality Japanese runners, so the form reads well, and he was rated as a $44 chance in betting, so he wasn’t expected to do much.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: To be fair, he hadn’t done much prior to coming to Sydney for the Championships. He was the best run in the Doncaster then ran a mighty second to Winx. If he brought that to the Cox Plate, he’d go close to winning. Just not sure what to make of the Sapporo Kinen run, but can’t ignore what he did in Sydney.


8. Danceteria

Breeding: Redoute’s Choice x Bal De La Rose
Trainer: David Menuisier
Nationality: French
Career Stats: 16: 7-0-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: La Coupe Stakes, June 10 2019, Longchamp, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 15: 6-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 1: 1-0-0
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: One of many internationals to target the Cox Plate post Winx.

Eclipse Stakes (2000m), July 6 2019, Sandown, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

He was given no chance of figuring in the finish behind the world’s best in Enable, but despite starting $51+, he ran an enormous race, closing off with purpose late to run fourth to the champion mare and 200m after the line, he was alongside her. Outstanding run in what was a world class race. The subsequent form has seen first and second both win at Group l level and the fifth horse has won at Group ll level.

To view this replay click here.

Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2000m), July 28 2019, Munich, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

This win ensured an invite for the Cox Plate. Speaking to part owner Jamie Lovett the following day, he told me that jockey Jamie Spencer told him that the horse hated the wet ground and that it was class that got him home, which is such a good sign for a horse when they can overcome difficulties and still get the job done. The subsequent form has seen 11 runs for one win at Group lll level by the fourth place horse.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: He’s got the invite and he’s a serious contender. It’s clear he’s got a turn of foot, a lethal one, and he’ll arrive here in Group l winning form. He’ll run in the Caulfield Stakes leading into the Cox Plate and Jamie Spencer will ride the horse in both races.


9. Lys Gracieux

Breeding: Heart’s Cry x Liliside
Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 20: 5-8-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2200m
Career Best Win: Takarazuka, June 23 2019, Hanshin, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 19: 5-7-4
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-1-0
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: She’s #1 seed for the internationals

Hong Kong International Vase (2400m), December 9 2018, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Have to show this race. This race just littered with class. Exultant is the best horse at 2000m+ in Hong Kong and the mare pushed him all the way down the Sha Tin straight. In behind was Latrobe, Prince Of Arran, and of course, recent Arc winner Waldgeist, so the form just reads so well from this race.

To view this replay click here.

Takarazuka (2200m), June 23 2019, Hanshin, Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

She made an absolute mess of them in this race under Damian Lane. Got across from the wide gate to land on speed and from there, it was a painless watch really, with Lane pushing the button and her turn of foot was there to see as she gapped her rivals and won very impressively.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: She’s a high class animal this girl and a deserving Cox Plate favourite. The form around her just reads so well and that turn of foot she can produce will win more Cox Plates than lose them. She’s the one to beat of the internationals but unfortunately the price is gone.



10. Magic Wand

Breeding: Galileo x Prudenzia
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 18: 2-7-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2281m/2405m
Career Best Win: Ribblesdale Stakes, June 21 2018, Ascot, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 12: 2-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 6: 0-2-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Good horse, but very good at being a bridesmaid.

Arton Million (2000m), August 10 2019, Arlington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

Wayne Lordan gave the mare an absolute peach of a steer off the speed. Got the gap at the right time and on the turn looked the winner. Just lacked the turn of foot of Bricks And Mortar, who is a star and arguably the best horse in America, so this form is A1.

To view this replay click here.

Irish Champion Stakes (2012m), September 14 2019, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Another very game run. Had the suck run behind stablemate and gun mare Magical, who was outside the leader and another stablemate, Hunting Horn. Magical put pay to him quickly and her turn of foot was far superior to Magic Wand, who stayed on but never really threatened, but still ran a very credible second and of course Magical franked that form in the British Champion Stakes.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: I don’t think she has the change up speed required to win a Cox Plate unless it’s a strong tempo and it comes down to survival of the fittest, which would bring her into the mix big time. I think the Melbourne Cup is her go and her recent runs have been that of a horse wanting more ground.



11. Cape Of Good Hope

Breeding: Galileo x Hveger
Trainer: Hayes/Dabernig
Nationality: Irish/Australian
Career Stats: 10: 2-1-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1499m/2027m
Career Best Win: Blue Riband Trial, April 24 2019, Epsom, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 2-1-2
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Cox Plate/Mackinnon Stakes
Short Summary: Wouldn’t say he’s the worst

Blue Riband Stakes (2027m), April 24 2019, Epsom, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Pretty solid win from this half brother to Highland Reel and Idaho. Was near the speed throughout under Ryan Moore before being clicked up 400m out and he showed good ticker late when challenged to get the win. Subsequent form has seen the last horse win a couple of races, as well as others placing at Group level, so the form isn’t too bad.

To view this replay click here.

Saratoga Derby (1900m), August 4 2019, Saratoga, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

It was a really good ride from Julien Leparoux because A Thread Of Blue absolutely walked them in front, turning it into a 400m dash to the line. Leparoux saved significant ground by sticking towards the inside and the horse kept finding the line to run a very game third behind a quality up and coming stayer.

To view this replay click here.

Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 12 2019, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

There are two schools of thought here after this win. Either the Australian WFA horses, as a whole, are rubbish, which I think is just about right. Or, is Cape Of Good Hope going to follow the same path as his older brother and be a future great? He still looks very raw and new, with development to come, but this was some win.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: If you’re going on breeding, he is still another 12-18 months away from his best, as we saw with Highland Reel. On paper, the form doesn’t read flash, but a deeper look, and it’s not too bad. He creates some interest for sure and is a worthy Cox Plate contender.



18. Dream Castle

Breeding: Frankel x Sand Vixen
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 17: 4-2-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1408m/1800m
Career Best Win: Jebel Hatta, March 9 2019, Meydan, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 14: 3-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 3: 1-1-1
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: His best will see him competitive.

Al Rashidiya (1800m), January 24 2019, Meydan, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Pretty sharp win from this bloke, who was near the speed throughout before being clicked up early on in the straight and put them away to win impressively, with that field including Blair House, who of course ran so well in Melbourne during the Spring 12 months ago. The subsequent form has seen 13 runs for 0 wins.

To view this replay click here.

Jebel Hatta (1800m), March 9 2019, Meydan, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

That turn of foot between the 300-100m was stunning. Put them away in a couple of strides after getting the perfect trail, three wide with cover, and it was all over once Soumillion pushed the button. Keep in mind this race did produce Blair House and Benbatl last year, who of course measured up big time in Melbourne. The subequent form has seen 16 runs for 1 win, coming from the 7th place horse at Group ll in Chester back in May.

To view this replay click here.

Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 12 2019, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I think just put a line through this run. Wide no cover for the entire trip and at Caulfield, especially at the 2000m start, that’s a near suicidal mission. Cosgrove tried to find a decent spot near the speed and almost got in, but in the end was caught wide and that was his race done and dusted there.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: His next few runs after the Jebel Hatta were ordinary, but personally, I think he had his Grand Final in the Jebel Hatta. Would he run out a Cox Plate trip? I’m saying no based on what I’ve seen. In saying that, he has got a brilliant turn of foot and versatility re racing pattern, so he has plenty going for him.

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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