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The two day Cox Plate Carnival begins on Friday night at Moonee Valley where it is Manikato Stakes Night. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Manikato Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Manikato Stakes

Cox Plate 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Cox Plate

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Race 1. (17:15) Lockdown Legends Hcp 2040m

Back Me

He’s been a bit hit and miss this prep, but the map just looks perfect for 2 Inverloch (Bet Now: $4.80) to bounce back. He was well fancied at odds last time out in the Cranbourne Cup but he and Trap For Fools declared each other on and ensured a very strong tempo. The latter dropped right out but this guy was only beaten under two lengths, a very good effort. He should lead for fun and if he gets control, he’ll take some beating.


3 Spanish Reef (Bet Now: $5.00) is nearly racing for her career I dare say. First up run behind Pretty Brazen was encouraging, but thought she was very plain last time out in the Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield behind Sovereign Award. I think this is a harder race, but the thing might be she is looking for further, which she gets here.

Long Shot

1 Captain Cook (Bet Now: $5.50) is a one I can make a case for at big odds. Chris Waller trained galloper that resumed over 1700m at Caulfield where the track was pretty much heavy and he struggled to pick his feet up behind Nonconformist. Was really good second up last prep so provided the track is dry, think he can run a much improved race and is a knockout chance, but the forecast isn’t kind.

Race 2. (17:45) Msc Signs Hcp 2040m

Back Me

Will need luck from the gate, but 6 Lunar Flare (Bet Now: $7.00) is flying for Grahame Begg. She, like a few here, come through the Pinker Pinker Plate, and I thought she was unlucky not to win. With clear air at the right time, think she goes close to winning. From the gate, potentially can land on the back of likely leader West Wind and be strong late.


1 West Wind (Bet Now: $2.80) is a mare that is in career best form at the moment for the Maher/Eustace camp. She led throughout to win the Pinker Pinker at Cranbourne under a lovely front running ride from John Allen. She’s creeping up in the weights now and potentially a wet track is against her, but hard to knock the way she’s going.

Long Shot

7 Nerve Not Verve (Bet Now: $7.00) is the one with upside. Was on her at the big odds at Bendigo last time out and 250m out, she loomed to win, but second up, her condition just gave out. She’ll come right on from that and up to 2040m is ideal. Drop of rain certainly won’t hurt her chances either, so she’s right in this.

Race 3. (18:15) Antler Luggage Hcp 1200m

Back Me

One more chance for 2 William Thomas (Bet Now: $6.00). I was keen on him when he raced last Wednesday at Caulfield but just had to make a long sustained run and by the time he was within touching distance of the win, he died on the run and held on for third. Small field, so hopefully will be within range without spending too many petrol tickets, proving strong late.


The best version of 3 All Too Royal (Bet Now: $5.50) is certainly capable. Problem is we just haven’t see it for a little while, but I do like that the stable have given him a good break after his failure in the Takeover Target at Rosehill back in May. Recent jumpout looked more than encouraging and is a bomb when produced first up.

Long Shot

4 Parsifal (Bet Now: $5.00) has returned in good order for the Will Clarken stable. Just needed the run fresh at Morphettville when third to the in form Star Hills before going to the Apache Cat where he worked to the line strongly from off the pace, running second to the in form Ancestry. Up to 1200m I do like and always have to respect the stable when bringing them to Melbourne.

Race 4. (18:45) VOBIS Gold Star 1500m

Back Me

2 Iconoclasm (Bet Now: $3.00) is looking to make it three straight wins in this race and I think he can do it, provided the track isn’t too wet. Was a bit worried about him after his first two runs back from a spell, but they slapped the blinkers on him in the Paris Lane at Flemington and he ran a much improved race, going down narrowly to Riddle Me That. Proven performer here, he’ll take some beating.


Always have to respect the class in these kind of races, and the class clearly lies with 1 So Si Bon (Bet Now: $2.30), who comes through the Group l Toorak and I thought was very good from the back when finishing a few lengths off Mr Quickie in seventh. He has a bit on these in terms of class, and is a proven weight carrier.

Long Shot

4 Galaxy Raider (Bet Now: $6.00) is flying for Grahame Begg. He ran last in the Bobbie Lewis, but they ran home in 32.7/thereabouts, so he was no hope there. Stepped up to 1400m at Flemington in the Paris Lane and warmed to the task late behind Riddle Me That. Gets Pike to steer and hopefully can sit closer in the run from the good draw.

Race 5. (19:15) 55 Sec Challenge-84 955m

Back Me

7 Sartorial Splendor (Bet Now: $4.20) looks wound right up for a first up win. John Sadler trained galloper that has now been gelded after a frustrating Autumn prep, where he was well fancied to be a Stakes class horse. He is in fact a Stakes winner, winning the Red Anchor last year. Three jumpouts to get ready, he looks wound up to win. Hopefully the market will agree.


The best version of 8 Human Nature (Bet Now: $2.70) is certainly capable. Good from the back at this track/distance first up behind Alfa Oro before going to Randwick where I was really keen on his chances, but he didn’t find a great deal I thought behind Blazing Miss. Back to the Valley, Pike back on, tinkering with head gear, he can win this.

Long Shot

9 Queen Annabel (Bet Now: $16.00) is one I could include in wider multiples. This mare resumed in a heat of this race behind Alfa Oro. She got back and was held up at a vital stage. Should have finished closer, but wouldn’t have troubled the impressive winner. Harder here, not sure I could back her to win, but she goes in all multiples.

Race 6. (19:45) Sweeney Estate Agents Hcp 1000m

Back Me

3 Written Beauty (Bet Now: $1.50) does look the most progressive of this lot. Team Hawkes trained filly that had her first run for the new stable at Canterbury where she was able to hold the lead, control things from the front and dash home to win well. Placed on debut on heavy ground, so wet track is fine, and recently, when the Valley has been wet, off the fence has been the A1 spot.


5 Hot Water (Bet Now: $5.50) is a nice looking type for the Warren/Krongold camp. Debuted over 1000m at Mornington when heavily backed and the punters got it spot on as he showed good change up speed on the wet track to win impressively. Time he ran stacked up well relative to the meeting and he’s got room for improvement. Think he can measure up.

Long Shot

9 Wild Cherry Road (Bet Now: $9.50) has been such a consistent galloper this time in. Puts herself on speed and tries hard, which was the case at Mornington last time out, getting pipped late near the peg by Hummalong. Looked to work well here on the weekend, has the speed to find the front and give a sight at odds.

Race 7. (20:15) Seppelt Wines (bm84) 1500m

Back Me

7 Beehunter (Bet Now: $4.40) isn’t one of mine but this looks a perfect race for him, provided he can use gate one. Comes through the Weekend Hussler at Caulfield when back off a fast speed and closing off strongly when fourth to Windstorm. Depth here nowhere near as strong and we know he’s got the ability to win this kind of race. Happy to be in his corner.


Can 3 Groundswell (Bet Now: $3.70) go on with it? He does still hold a nomination for the Golden Eagle and if he’s any hope of going there, needs to win this. Just needed the run fresh in a fast run race at Caulfield before going to Cranbourne where he got the A1 run in transit and he bolted up in a return to winning form. Hopefully he can go on with it.

Long Shot

2 Adelaide Ace (Bet Now: $7.50) deserves another chance. On face value, he was disappointing last time out behind Windstorm, but he was nearer the inside and for that meeting, the inside section of the track was borderline quicksand. Easiest race he has contested this prep and has class, plus Johnny Allen gets back aboard.

Race 8. (20:45) Manikato Stakes 1200m

Back Me

Class just about gets 1 Trekking (Bet Now: $3.30) home. On the quick back up after contesting The Everest last Saturday where he was very good in defeat when fourth to Classique Legend, beaten three lengths but still a huge tick. Last time he backed up, he ran super in The Everest last year when third and he appears to be ticking along beautifully.


Gee this race sets up perfect for 10 Diamond Effort (Bet Now: $7.00) to only run well. Most unlucky here two back in the Moir before going to the Schillaci where she tried very hard and looked the winner, only to be bloused late by Dirty Work. Maps to get a perfect sit off Pippie and with rain forecast, think she’ll take some beating.

Long Shot

7 Lyre (Bet Now: $10.00) isn’t one of mine, but is another that will appreciate a good gallop. She comes through the Northwood Plume at Caulfield where she again found trouble at a vital stage when a close up fourth to Fiesta, but that’s the story of her life really due to her racing pattern. If she can get a suck run behind the speed and the breaks go her way, she can be dangerous.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Two Number 6 Lunar Flare

NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 7 Sartorial Splendor

LONG SHOT: Race One Number 2 Inverloch


Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 7

Leg Two: 3, 5, 7, 9

Leg Three: 3, 7

Leg Four: 1, 6, 7, 8, 10

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