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The Cox Plate Carnival reaches its climax on Saturday with the Cox Plate (2040m) shaping up to be an epic duel between the stars that are Winx and Hartnell. The weather is overcast, the track is soft (5) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.




Race One (12:10) : Inglis Banner 1000m:

Back Me: 3 Bed Talk (Bet Now:  $17.00) is on debut for John McArdle. He hasn’t had an offical trial, but he did look sharp at a Pakenham jump out, where he led most of the way and won under little pressure, running time. I think he has the potential to run a beauty.
Big Danger: 7 Red Zephyr (Bet Now:  $11.00) is a juvenile for the Waterhouse/Bott who comes here after trialling at the official Randwick trials where he ran pretty well. He has since had a jumpout at Flemington last Friday where he looked pretty good. In the right stable and is a leading contender.
Roughie: 1 Feng Chu (Bet Now:  $11.00) comes through the Debutant at Caulfield where he sat near the speed and fought on pretty well I thought when running fourth to Wait For No One, beaten just over a length. Draws very well and has the race experience on his side.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,2,3,8,13


Race Two (12:40) : City Jeep Handicap 955m:

Back Me: 1 Felines (Bet Now:  $5.50) has to carry the weight but I think she is the one to beat. She had market support late last time out in the Concorde and she had the nice sit off the speed before Jason Collett peeled her out and she finished hard to win very impressively. 955m I think will really suit and she is the clear class factor.
Big Danger: 7 Gun Case (Bet Now:  $4.80) ran over this track/distance on September 30 and was given an absolute peach of a steer from apprentice Ben Allen to burst through and get the job done in pretty dominant fashion. He is in the right stable and has the runs on the board. Ticks alot of boxes.
Roughie: 4 Grane (Bet Now:  $17.00) is a track specialist that resumes for Robbie Griffiths. He has been nommed/accepted/scratched a couple of times, so I think he is the watch horse. He has trialled twice on his home track at Cranbourne and has looked sharp. He’ll get back and savage the line late.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,3,4,7,8,10


Race Three (13:15) : Crockett Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: 6 Prompt Response (Bet Now:  $9.00) comes through the Thoroughbred Club (1200m) on Caulfield Guineas Day where you could make a really strong case she should have won. She was under riding before the turn but was picking up strongly and was about to burst through a gap until she got cut out and lost all momentum. Hasn’t had much luck this prep which started with a couple of brilliant barrier trials. She can win with better luck.
Big Danger: 3 Sweet Sherry (Bet Now:  $3.70) has been very good for Team Corstens in two runs for the stable, both coming here. Won well first up before running home strongly against the pattern to run third to Merriest in the Atlantic Jewel. Little freshen up should do her the world of good and she does seem more effective at sprint trips.
Roughie: 18 Rosa Carolina (Bet Now:  $21.00) comes through the Reginald Allen at Rosehill where she sat outside the tempo and gave a really good kick but just felt the pinch late behind the very sharp victor Zenalicious. Back to 1200m should suit her and the talent is clearly there.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 3,6,8,9,18


Race Four (13:50) : Telstra Phonewords Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: 6 Palladian (Bet Now:  $3.80) took a little while to break his maiden tag but he did it impressively last Wednesday at Warwick Farm, beating home the stablemate Missile Strike, who is above average. Comes to Melbourne in really good form and should get a cheap run from the gate for Dunn.
Big Danger: 2 Archives (Bet Now:  $1.70) comes here after a freshen up since not quite measuring up towards the Caulfield Guineas path. I think now we know he isn’t quite up to the top shelf, but this looks more suitable. Should press forward from the wide gate and prove hard to hold out.
Roughie: 5 Dam Ready (Bet Now:  $4.00) ran over this track/distance on Moir Night where he got the sweet trip behind and tried hard all the way before getting squeezed of room late when running fourth to Benz, who ran well with no luck at WFA last Saturday, so the form is okay, he draws well and clearly handles the track.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 2,5,6


Race Five (14:25) : Merlin Garage Door Openers Stakes 1600m:

Back Me: 5 Metaphorical (Bet Now:  $7.50) was very good first up in the Lets Elope before going to the Blazer where she got back in the run and then was held up for the first half of the straight before eventually getting clear and working home well late. Moonee Valley mile looks ideal and third up, she should just about be ready fitness wise.
Big Danger: 1 Lady Le Fay (Bet Now:  $2.00) looks ready to perform to her peak here. She ran in the Angst at Randwick two weeks back where she had the run of the race just off the speed before Tommy got her into the clear and she looked home, only to be nabbed late by a freak Tim Clark steer on Dixie Blossoms. Appeared to work well with Winx last Saturday here and she is a massive chance.
Roughie: She is terribly weighted but gee I’m very intrigued to see how 11 St Swithuns. (Bet Now:  $21.00) She was backed as if unbeatable last time out at Bendigo where she sat off the speed before Nolen eased her to the best ground and she just spanked them. There is just enormous upside with her and I wouldn’t discount her as a threat.

Trifecta Tips: 1,5/1,5/7,8,11



Race Six (15:00) : Moonee Valley Fillies Classic 1600m:

Back Me: 5 Exocet (Bet Now:  $11.00) started favourite in the Edward Manifold and though she was beaten a fair way, I think you have to forgive her. She felt the really firm track I suspect, so forgive and forget. The forecast during the week is for showers, so if that gives the track a bit of cushion, I think she can sharply improve.
Big Danger: 2 La Luna Rossa (Bet Now:  $7.50) drops in class after contesting the Thousand Guineas last time out where she did a bit of work to sit on speed and may have felt the firm ground when seventh to Global Glamour. She does seem to be more explosive with give in the ground, and that is what she will get here. Expecting a huge run from her.
Roughie: 8 Alaskan Sun (Bet Now:  $41.00) was luckless when resuming here against the older horses when second to Ballinaclash before going to Cranbourne Cup Day where she sat last in the run and stayed there in an indifferent race behind Verstappen. Up to the mile should suit, as should the return to the Valley. $34 seems big overs for a quality filly.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,2,5,8



Race Seven (15:35) : Crystal Mile 1600m:

Back Me: He has been away for a while, but it’s great to see 1 The United States (Bet Now:  $2.80) back at the track after an indifferent Spring. He resumed at this track/distance in the Dato Tan where he got back to near last in the run, then got shoved back more and wide, but he rattled home late behind Awesome Rock. Race form wise has stood up obviously via Jameka and Real Love. If he brings his best, he wins.
Big Danger: The give in thet rack leaves me to elevate 7 Federal (Bet Now:  $5.00). He was enormous over 1400m at Flemington last time out, sitting wide with cover before making a decent run and looming to win the race but the winner/runner up had soft runs nearer the speed and kicked hard late. He should get a sweet trip here and the wet track helps him big time.
Roughie: I think had he settled better, 5 Royal Rapture (Bet Now:  $5.00) would have gone close to winning the Toorak. He sat outside the speed and pulled hard most of the way, which left him gassed when it mattered. Another not suited at WFA, but he is a track specialist and in fabulous form.

Trifecta Tips: 1/3,5,7/3,5,7



Race Eight (16:10) : Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2500m:

Back Me: This race is generally won by class and that lies with the Chris Waller trained 3 Who Shot Thebarman. (Bet Now:  $4.60) I thought he was okay in defeat behind Sir John Hawkwood in the Metropolitan (2400m) given it was a slowly run race, which clearly isn’t his go. The give in the ground here will really suit him and when you consider that he is a Group l horse, he looks thrown in at 57kg, just 2kg over the minimum.
Big Danger: I’m not sure how strong the Moe Cup was last Thursday, but I didn’t mind the effort of 7 The Bandit. (Bet Now:  $31.00) He was beaten by Almandin in the Harry White before going to Moe where he was closing his race off nicely late nearer the inside, which wasn’t the place to be. Bigger track will really suit and I can really see him blending in at the right time and finishing hard.
Roughie: 8 Pentathlon (Bet Now:  $41.00) was pretty good I thought in the Bart Cummings (2500m) behind Almandin given he had to chase a hot speed and was left with no cover into the stiff breeze for the final 900m, and given he had improvement, he tired late. He should be better off here, and the stable don’t bring them over for a holiday. He can run a very cheeky race at odds.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,3,4,7,8,9


Race Nine (17:00) : Cox Plate 2040m:

Back Me: 8 Winx (Bet Now:  $1.80) is the obvious way to go, and she is on top. I don’t think you can read too much into her Caulfield Stakes (2000m) triumph. It was pretty much an 800m barrier trial, but it was a very impressive trial, putting away the best horse in Victoria and doing it very easily. Her workouts since have been brilliant and for a reserved guy, Chris Waller has been pretty bullish about the mare and how well she is going. She’ll get the run of the race from the gate…has to go on top, but I think she isn’t a betting proposition.
Big Danger: The more I am looking at this race, the more and more I am warming to 10 Yankee Rose (Bet Now:  $15.00) as a serious contender. I’m not sure how strong the Spring Champion (2000m) field was, but she produced a brilliant finish to beat the boys and defy history, plus she was very strong through the line. I think the only way she can beat Winx is roll along in front with the lightweight ala So You Think in 2009. She’ll give an almighty sight if that eventuates.
Roughie: 9 Lucia Valentina (Bet Now:  $18.00) was very good in defeat last time out in the Underwood where she got back in the run and was never really a winning chance, but she closed off hard late in the piece behind Black Heart Bart. Kris Lees is adopting a similar path to that of the QEll in the Autumn where he freshened her right up for the GF. Rain forecast is a blessing for her and I think she is right in the game.

Trifecta Tips: 3,8,10/3,8,10/4,6,9



Race Ten (17:45) : Moonee Valley Vase 2040m:

Back Me: 2 Sacred Elixir (Bet Now:  $4.80) is my early Derby play, so I’ll be on his back here also. Completely forget his effort in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m). He pulled hard in the run and was left with nothing for the finish. The blinkers come off now, with the hope that will get him to relax. Clearly the best horse in the race IMO, and if he brings his best, he’ll take some beating.
Big Danger: 1 Prized Icon (Bet Now:  $5.00) was a bit unlucky not to win the Spring Champion (2000m) at Randwick given he was held up in the early part of the straight and then was forced to cut back to the inside, which wasn’t the A ground. He is just starting to find his best now, and that is clearly good enough to threaten here.
Roughie: 10 Whispering Brook (Bet Now:  $6.50) stuck on very gamely last time out in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) where she had a charmed run behind the slow tempo and kicked on to run third to star filly Global Glamour. I think she is a risk at the trip, but she gets the weight pull on the boys and has the tactical speed.

Trifecta Tips: 1,2/1,2/5,6,7,10,11



BEST BET: Race Eight Number 3 Who Shot Thebarman

NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 1 The United States

VALUE: Race Three Number 6 Prompt Response


Have Your Say: Have a tip for Cox Plate day? – Leave a comment below.


Early Quaddie Tips (Races Three Through To Six):

Leg One: 3, 6, 8, 9, 18

Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 6

Leg Three: 1, 5, 7, 8, 11

Leg Four: 1, 2, 5, 8

$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 1, 3, 5, 7

Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8

Leg Three: 3, 8, 9, 10

Leg Four: 1, 2, 6, 10

$50 Investment= 13.02% of the dividend if successful



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