Current Track Rating: Good 4
Weather Forecast: www.bom.gov.au
Friday 21st – Max 19, partly cloudy. Very high chance of showers (95%) 8-20mm in the morning/afternoon.
Saturday 22nd – Max 15, partly cloudy. Medium chance of showers (40%) 0-2mm in the morning/afternoon.
R9 Cox Plate G1 WFA 2040m
- 4 of past 5 winners were 4yo’s
- 3 of past 5 winners had their previous start at 1600m
- 2 of past 5 winners have been 5th up
- 3 of past 5 winners have been 3 weeks or more between runs
- 2 of past 5 winners were Mares
Previous Winners & Lead Up Result
1st – Winx 4yo Mare – SP $4.60 55.5kg BR 1 – 3rd up, 3 weeks 1st Epsom Hcp G1 1600m Randwick
2nd – Criterion – SP $6.00 59kg BR 7 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield
3rd – Highland Reel – SP $8 56kg BR 4 – 7th up, 6 wk freshen 5th Irish Champion Stks G1 2012m Leopardstown
Rail +3m, Good 3
1st – Adelaide 4yo Horse – SP $8 56kg BR 13 – 6 week freshen, 3rd Prix Niel G2 2400m Longchamp
2nd – Fawkner – SP $4.4 fav 59kg BR 4 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield
3rd – Silent Achiever – SP $26 59kg BR 11 – 4th up, 3 weeks 9th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington
Rail +3, Good 4
1st – Shamus Award 3yo Colt – SP $21 49.5kg BR 3 – 5th up, 2 wks 3rd Caulfield Guineas G1 1600m Caulfield
2nd – Happy Trails – SP $12 59kg BR 2 – 5th up, 3 weeks 1st Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington
3rd – Fiorente – SP $8 59kg BR 14 – 4th up, 3weeks 4th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington
Rail +3m, Good 4
1st – Ocean Park 4yo Horse – SP $6 57.5kg BR 9 – 4th up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield
2nd – All Too Hard – SP $9 49.5kg BR 3 – 5th up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Guineas G1 1600m Caulfield
3rd – Pierro – SP $5.5 49.5kg BR 7 – 4th up – 2 weeks 2nd Caulfield Guineas G1 1600m Caulfield
Rail True, Good 4
1st – Pinker Pinker 4yo Mare – SP $26 55.5kg BR 11 – 5th up, 3 weeks 2nd Epsom Hcp G1 1600m Randwick
2nd – Jimmy Choux – SP $6.5 57.5kg BR 9 – 4th up, 3 weeks 1st Spring ClassicG1 2040m Hastings NZ
3rd – Rekindled Interest – SP $10 57.5kg BR 3 – 5th up, 3 weeks 5th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington
2. Black Heart Bart: Prior to the Underwood Stakes (1800m) two starts ago many commentators questioned this horse’s ability to stretch out past a mile. He was subsequently heavily backed in from $2.60 to $2.20 so we know that the punting market had no concerns that day.
Led Winx in the Caulfield Stakes which with only the three starters became just a sit and sprint where the first 1000m was covered in a leisurely 1:07.89. The fact he could only sprint home his final 600m in 34.06 off such a slow tempo implies that 2000m may be out of his comfort zone and he can’t turn the tables on Winx. Trading around $32 now, and is likely to drift.
3. Hartnell: Won the Turnbull Stakes with ridiculous ease thrashing the subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Jameka by 3.25L. The overall time in the Turnbull (2:01.03) along with a scintillating last 600m of 33.55 eased down shows he was able to let-down well off a solid tempo which is important given his previous victories this preparation were big margins but against poor quality opposition.
OHC rating of 123 is below Winx PB of 127 but he has more scope than her to improve again Tactics will be interesting. Trainer and Jockey both commented last week that they would be in front of Winx at the 800m and make it a testing 2000m. I have mapped him going forward in front of BHB and outside Vadamos. It is conceivable that he races one behind BHB and outside Winx. Either way I think he is advantaged on the map. Very little between the favourites so he represents great value. I think they will back him late. so would suggest backing him early which opens up a Back-To-Lay situation for the less risk adverse.
4.Hauraki: Produced a stunning win in the Epsom Handicap last start albeit aided by a crazy pace. Was beaten just 1.3L by Winx in the George Main stakes prior to that. He was pushed out more than her on that occasion when they were both second up. He has proved his staying ability with a second in the ATC Derby (2015) and a creditable eighth (beaten 5.25L) in last year’s Caulfield Cup. Poorly off at the weights on his rating of 109 and as such rules out his winning chances. But his stamina may carry him into a placing.
6.Vadamos: The handicapper tells us he is a clear third pick in the race with a rating of 121, although that leaves his best well behind Winx his pattern of racing will have him in the first couple. I believe Awesome Rock will lead, but if not Vadamos can lead them up.
He comes into this race off a six-week freshen, the same profile as Highland Reel (3rd 2015) and Adelaide (1st 2014). As opposed to Highland Reel who raced over 2000m in his lead up run and Adelaide 2400m his last start was over 1600, the same distance as his two stakes graded wins. That leaves me a little concerned at his fitness and a slight query over the 2040m, but he his trainer is world class so we have to take him on his merits. Genuine top three chance but not convinced he can beat our top two seeds.
8.Winx: The defending champion in this race after smashing the clock to record a track record 2:02.98 last year. She was heavily aided by a dream rails run on a savagely rail biased track which puts the record in some context. Looking for her 13th win in succession and having won the Doncaster in the Autumn there is clearly no doubting her class and as backed up by her handicap rating of 127. At her best rating she beats Hartnell by around two lengths. My concern with her, other than the price is that as noted (in the comments regarding Black Heart Bart) is her Caulfield Stakes win whilst soft was not the same grounding of Hartnell’s last start. I think the price at the current quote close to even money is under her true value. I’ve marked her $2.60 so wouldn’t be in a hurry to back her if that’s your strategy in the race.
10.Yankee Rose: Carries just 47.5kg which on her rating of 112 and with plenty of scope to improve on that being a 3-year-old puts here very well in at the weights. Under handicap conditions she would be getting 7.5kg off Winx and 6.5kg off Hartnell, not the 9.5kg and 11.5kg that she is. My main concerns with her and why I am discounting her as a winning chance are the facts she is still so inexperienced and can race greenly and as equally important, her position on the map. She will be back and on the inside which is difficult at the best of times. That might be worse after some predicted rain and 16 earlier races (Friday night included). She may sneak into a place but that looks the extent of her chances.