The two day Cox Plate Carnival wraps up this Saturday with the feature race, and the best two minutes in Australian racing, the $3 Million William Hill Cox Plate (2040m). Criterion is the favourite but he will face strong opposition from the likes of Kermadec, Highland Reel, Arod and star mare Winx. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
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Race One (12:40) : Inglis Banner 1000m:
Back Me: Pearl Congennial (Best Odds: $7.50) for me here. She trialled really well prior to debuting at Caulfield where she was on speed in a fast run race yet stuck on very well to run second to impressive winner Missrock. That winner looks classy, so I think that is the best form reference, and with this filly, she does everything right, and that is such an advantage in this race, as we saw last year with stablemate Fontiton.
Big Danger: Sweet Sherry (Best Odds: $4.00) trialled very well behind Pearl Congennial before debuting down the Flemington straight where she was given a lovely steer from Oliver to get the job done narrowly but impressively. She’s a sharp type who should acquit herself well here.
Roughie: Kinetic Design (Best Odds: $7.00) was a real eye catcher in that race Sweet Sherry won, settling last before winding up hard late to just miss out on winning. I think she will be better suited at Flemington, but the run was too good to entirely dismiss.
Race Two (13:15) : City Jeep Handicap 955m:
Back Me: Unanimously (Best Odds: $9.00) was excellent in defeat last time out at Caulfield when sitting wide no cover on a hot tempo when a close seventh to Sabatini, beaten 1.5L. Draws much better now, Williams on and has run well here in three previous attempts.
Big Danger: Diamond Oasis (Best Odds: $2.50) was a short priced fav when resuming on his home track at Warwick Farm and everything looked rosy when he led, but he found nothing in the straight and was disappointing when fourth to Fine Mist. He returns to the Valley where he excels at and Bowman sticks.
Roughie: Vatican (Best Odds: $11.00) could well be the knockout runner at odds here. He resumes here for the Cozamanis yard who tends to save his best for this track. Getting on in years, but recent Caulfield jump outs have been encouraging and he should get every chance from the gate.
Race Three (13:50) : Alliance Broking Services Fillies Classic 1600m:
Back Me: My Poppette (Best Odds: $3.00) ran third in the Edward Manifold, and she seemingly had her chance in the run behind the speed, which was the place to be on the day, so she had no excuses IMO. There isn’t much between her and the top tip, but I’ll lean with the other filly, but this one should run well also.
Big Danger: Sempre Libera (Best Odds: $4.60) was solid when resuming in the Tea Rose behind Pearls, but then she was slightly disappointing in the Flight Stakes after seemingly having the dream run behind the tempo. The change of scenery could spark her back into decent form, and she does have a stack of upside compared to most of these.
Roughie: Dagny (Best Odds: $19.00) is a Stakes performer from last season who is one of the better maiden gallopers racing at the moment. She couldn’t have been ridden any better last time out at Ballarat but bumped into a good one in Miss Wilson, who failed on Thursday at Ballarat along with the third placegetter from that maiden race, so form is suspect, but she should get a cheap run behind the tempo and could sneak a place.
Race Four (13:50) : Telstra Phoneworlds Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Going with the Godolphin gelding Demonstrate (Best Odds: $6.00). He hasn’t raced since finishing a close up second to Gold Symphony in the McNeil at Caulfield. The form out of that race has been solid subsequent. Demonstrate then trialled at Warwick Farm and looked sharp before galloping here on Tuesday where he worked with Cox Plate contender Complacent, and I thought Demonstrate went better.
Big Danger: Stablemate of the top tip is Holler (Best Odds: $3.30) and he is on the quick back up after racing last Saturday where he tried his guts out but couldn’t quite get past Mahuta, who had a charmed run in front and proved too good. McDonald sticks, draws well and should prove hard to beat.
Roughie: Well Sighted (Best Odds: $17.00) ran home very well two back behind Bassett, who was subsequently ultra competitive in the Guineas behind Press Statement. Well Sighted then went to Caulfield and was okay against the tempo behind One For One. Form out of that race has held up well. Gate one with Oliver aboard, he doesn’t deserve to be a $15 chance.
Race Five (14:25) : Antler Luggage Crockett Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: I’m going to give Harlem River (Best Odds: $4.00) another chance. She was wide throughout when resuming in the Thoroughbred Club (1200m) at Caulfield when a fighting third to Serene Majesty. Does get a 2kg weight pull on the winner and there is more upside with her.
Big Danger: Serene Majesty (Best Odds: $2.80) was freshened up after failing in the Furious and she was just awesome in winning that race mentioned above, sitting last in the run before peeling out and rounding up her rivals in a couple of strides. That win was impressive, but remember that swoopers were advantaged that day. Nonetheless, hard to beat.
Roughie: Tiz My View (Best Odds: $11.00) resumed against the older horses at Ballarat and let down very strongly to win and win impressively. Beating the older horses early in the season is always a good sign for mine no matter how strong the opposition is. The second and third horses have since run second and won respectively to frank the form.
Race Six (15:35) : Melbourne Signage Concepts Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2500m:
Back Me: Looks a good race for Bohemian Lily (Best Odds: $7.00). She sat on speed last start in the Herbert Power and fought on quite well when running second to impressive winner Amralah, who is high up in the markets for the Melbourne Cup. Looked to work well here on Tuesday morning and she will relish the trip.
Big Danger: Interesting runner here is The United States (Best Odds: $3.80). I thought he would have gone to the paddock after his failure here in the JRA Cup behind Escado, but the team are pressing on in the hope he can get into the Cup field. On potential, he is the best horse in the race IMO and I like the jockey change and Bowman going on.
Roughie: Forgive and forget that Big Memory (Best Odds: $15.00) went around in the Cranbourne Cup last time out given he was back in a slowly run race when eighth to Digitalism. His form at Moonee Valley is very good and he is another that worked well here during the week.
Race Seven (16:10) : Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase 2040m:
Back Me: I’ll be brave here and stand Pasadena Girl (Best Odds: $4.60) out in the quaddie and make her the best bet on the program. Her run in the Thousand Guineas was enormous given she was three and four wide no cover for the entire trip yet still hit the line as well as anything to finish fourth to Stay With Me. Peter Moody has stated previously that her GF is the Oaks, so I am tipping her to improve big time off that and from gate one, she will get every chance.
Big Danger: Blind Freddy could see that Tarzino (Best Odds: $4.00) was the best run of the beaten brigade in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) when seventh to Press Statement after getting badly held up throughout in the straight yet produced some of the quickest final splits of the race despite not being fully extended. He will be a leading contender for the Derby and this should be a lovely tune up.
Roughie: The interesting runner is Tally (Best Odds: $7.50), a stablemate of Ambience. He quickly rises in grade after spanking his rivals last week at Kyneton, winning by seven lengths. Time was quickest out of the three 1850m races run that afternoon, and that is always a good sign for mine, especially for a young horse. He can handle the step up here.
Race Eight (16:50) : Schweppes Crystal Mile 1600m:
Back Me: Lucky Hussler (Best Odds: $2.15) had no luck at all in the Sir Rupert Clarke before going to the Toorak and was given a plum steer from Bossy to win another Group l. He has run great here in two previous outings, including a William Reid win at Group l level. On facts and figures, he is the one to beat.
Big Danger: Amovatio (Best Odds: $11.00) produced one of the runs of the day when resuming a couple of weeks back, getting badly held up early in the straight before taking a narrow gap and bursting through to win. He really looks to have taken his career to the next level and while he probably isn’t as brilliant when produced second up, the fresh win was too good to ignore.
Roughie: Hopfgarten (Best Odds: $41.00) was a real eye catcher in the Toorak, getting badly held up in the straight but he was strong through the line. Looked to work well on Tuesday morning, and though he isn’t suited at WFA, he is a proven weight carrier in the past and could be a knockout hope
Race Nine (17:40) : William Hill Cox Plate 2040m:
Back Me: I think there is great value here in the shape of Hartnell (Best Odds: $17.00). He resumed in the Chelmsford (1600m) and stuck to the task gamely when fourth to stablemate Complacent, beaten just under three lengths in a pleasing return. He was then freshened up and went to the Turnbull where he was fantastic against the pattern, charging home from a close up sixth to Preferment. This is the most brutal 2000m in Australian horse racing, so I am thinking a 2400m+ horse will be winning, and this horse did win the BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in the Autumn, beating home one of Japans best gallopers in To The World. I’ll happily take $15.
Big Danger: It was really hard not to be impressed by the win of Criterion (Best Odds: $6.00) in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m), charging home from last in a slowly run race to score a great Group l win. He was first up off a UK prep, so he is the one with upside for mine, and is the horse to follow from that form reference. I don’t think any horse from that race will turn the tables on Criterion here, and in terms of Australian runners, that is the strongest form reference, just.
Roughie: The reason it will be a brutal 2040m is because of The Cleaner (Best Odds: $19.00). who got his start in the race by winning his second successive Dato Tan over the mile here, thanks to a brilliant ride from Noel Callow. He then went to the Underwood and was nabbed right on the peg in a thrilling finish by Mourinho and Fawkner. He loves racing here and will be in front for a long way.
Race Ten (18:20) : G1X.com.au Stakes 1600m:
Back Me: Going with the former kiwi mare Azkadellia (Best Odds: $4.00). She was very impressive last time out on Cranbourne Cup Day when she produced a powerful finishing burst to win and win impressively over 1400m. Failed once at the mile but there were excuses. Looks ready for it now and is in ripping form. The one to beat for mine.
Big Danger: Coronation Shallan (Best Odds: $8.50) got some well deserved blacktype with a placing in the Moonga last Saturday when third to Vashka. On the quick back up which is no worry for me here, and she returns to Moonee Valley where she saves her best for.
Roughie: Lucky Lago (Best Odds: $17.00) was very solid last time out at Caulfield when running fourth to impressive all the winner Miss Rose De Lago, who controlled the tempo and dashed clear. Lucky Lago was back in the run so she did well to make up ground. Mile trip here suits and Jimmy Cassidy rides the mare very well, so that is a good jockey change.
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 10 Pasadena Girl
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 4 Harlem River
VALUE: Race Nine Number 6 The Cleaner
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 10
Leg Two: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11
Leg Three: 1, 3, 4, 12, 13
Leg Four: 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 12
$50 Investment= 23.80% of the dividend if successful.
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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