The Betfair Insider: Early Cox Plate Preview

Cox Plate Preview

Profiling the race we learn the following:

  • 4 of past 5 winners 4yo’s ( 3 x Horses & 1 x Mare)
  • 4 of past 5 winners have been 4th or 5th up
  • 3 of past 5 winner have drawn inside barrier 9
  • 4 of past 5 winners have started over 2000m+ in their lead up run
  • 5 of past 5 winners have finished no further back than 3rd in their lead up run


Past race winners & Lead up result:

2014 – 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


2013 – Rail +3, Good 4

1st – Shamus Award 3yo Colt – SP $21 49.5kg BR 3 – 5th up, 2 weeks 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


2012 – 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


2011 – 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


2010 – Rail True, Good 4 

1st – So You Think 4yo Horse – SP $1.50 57.5kg BR 5 – 4th up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield

2nd – Zipping – SP $17 59kg BR 6 – 3rd up, 3 weeks 1st Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington

3rd – Whobegotyou – SP $15 59 kg BR 10 – 4th up, 2 weeks 3rd Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield




Highland Reel (Ire) 4YO Horse

9 Starts: 4 wins 2 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,109,068
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1408/2414     1st Up: 2:0-1-0    2nd Up: 2:1-1-0
Firm: 1:1-0-0     Good: 5:3-1-0     Soft: 3:0-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:   56kg        Group 1 Win: Secretariat Stakes 1st 2012m 15/8/15


Highland Reel for Aiden O’Brien looks the real deal. His win in the G1 Secretariat Stakes was scintillating. At his latest start on September 12th he ran a gallant fifth to Golden Horn in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes. Golden Horn has since won the G1 Prix de l’Arc.

He boasts performances that would put him in front of Adelaide (2014 Cox Plate Winner) at the same stage of their careers. Ryan Moore has been confirmed to ride. If he travels well he’s likely to SP favourite.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

First up into the Cox Plate (2040m)

 Kermadec (Aus) 4YO Horse

11 Starts: 4 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $2,567,025
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/1600     1st Up: 3:1-0-0    2nd Up: 3:0-2-1
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 8:2-1-2     Soft: 3:2-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:    57.5kg       Group 1 Win: George Main Stakes 1st 1600m 19/9/15


Chris Waller’s Kermadec is the emerging star of Australian racing.

A luckless fourth in the Australian Guineas (G1 1600m) in autumn, backed up with a powerful finishing third in the G1 George Ryder (1500m) to Real Impact and Criterion. It was the perfect preparation for his first Group 1 win taking out the Doncaster Handicap (1600m) in dominant fashion.

He has resumed with two scintillating runs in the Warwick and Chelmsford Stakes, then flying late to win the G1 George Main Stakes at Randwick over Pornichet & Royal Descent.

Impossible to knock his latest start in the Caulfield Stakes beaten 3rd only 1.35 lengths to Criterion when hooked back to last off a wide alley. Not convinced it was the best Glen Boss ride and have no doubt he can be in the finish of a Cox Plate based on that performance.


Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)

Criterion (Aus) 5YO Horse

29 Starts: 6 wins 11 placing’s

Prizemoney: $6,061,119
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1100/2400     1st Up: 7:1-0-3    2nd Up: 5:1-2-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 21:3-6-3     Soft: 5:2-0-1     Heavy: 3:1-0-1    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:  59kg      Group 1 Win: Queen Elizabeth Stakes 1st 2000m 11/4/15


The Hayes-Dabernig trained galloper jetted off for an ambitious overseas campaign after taking out the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1 2,000m) during The Championships in Sydney.

Criterion raced well overseas with a brave 3rd in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (G1) 2000m in Hong Kong, before going on to run at the highest level in the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes beaten 3.75 lengths to Free Eagle (IRE) and the G1 Juddmonte International beaten 5.25 lengths to Arabian Queen (IRE). He came up short on both occasions but wasn’t totally disgraced.

Huge performance to win the Caulfield Stakes off a freshen up from the Juddmonte International. He came from 2nd last to run his last 600 in 33.77. Beaten only 1.45 lengths in the Cox Plate last year he’s current SP favourite and is likely to improve from his latest outing.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)

Fawkner (Aus) 8YO Horse

28 Starts: 11 wins 9 placing’s

Prizemoney: $3,731,751
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2400   1st Up: 9:3-1-1    2nd Up: 7:4-2-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0    Good: 24:7-6-3    Soft: 2:2-0-0    Heavy: 2:2-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:  59kg         Group 1 Win: Caulfield Stakes 1st 2000m 11/10/14


What more needs to be said about the mighty Fawkner? Already a 3 time Group 1 winner and a bold second placing in last years Cox Plate. He resumed in the Makybe Diva Stakes, first up and toughed it out brilliantly. His second up performance sound 2nd to Mourinho beaten 0.1 lengths.

He put in an ‘un fawkner’ like performance 3rd up in the Caulfield Stakes in his lead up run for the Cox Plate but stable report he jarred up feeling the harder track. Despite the 6.1 length defeat it’s hard to think he won’t bounce back. Betting on raceday will tell the story.

The question is whether this will be a stronger edition of the race won by Adelaide and that answer is yet to be finalised….

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)

The Cleaner (Aus) 8YO Gelding

51 Starts: 19 wins 15 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,192,520    Total Bonus: $3,000
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/2150     1st Up: 9:3-3-1    2nd Up: 9:4-0-0
Firm: 1:0-0-1     Good: 25:8-8-0     Soft: 20:9-4-2     Heavy: 2:1-0-0    Synthetic: 3:1-0-0

WFA:  59kg         Group 1 Win:  * Ballet Exempt* Dato Tan Chin Nam 1st 1600m 5/9/15


The Longford Lion has taken Australian racing fans by storm with his bold front running style and his ability to take good horses out of their comfort zone. A fantastic example of this was at his last start in the G2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes where a horses like Contributer were completely gassed on the turn thanks to the sustained speed set by The Cleaner.

Can he win this years Cox Plate and the answer is mostly like a no. He entered the 2014 Cox Plate in scintillating form and although extremely brave, was a 3.4L 9th.

He is sure to be dangerous in any race he contests while he rivals are not at peak fitness but come ‘the big dance’ I think his class may show out in the end.  His performance in the Underwood Stakes brave beaten 0.2 lengths and he’ll improve back to Moonee Valley.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Exhibition Gallop in Launceston Wed 14th October, into Cox Plate (2040m)


 Contributer (Aus) 6YO Horse

16 Starts: 8 wins 3 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,078,644
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2000     1st Up: 7:5-0-0    2nd Up: 4:1-1-1
Firm: 1:0-0-0     Good: 10:7-1-0     Soft: 4:1-1-1     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:  59kg       Group 1 Win: Ranvet Stakes 1st 2000m 21/03/15


Contributer established himself as one of Australia’s best middle distance gallopers after taking out the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), before finishing an unbeaten campaign with a breathtaking win in the Group 1 Ranvet (2000m) at Rosehill.

He resumed at ‘The Valley’ on the 5th of September when sent out an easing favorite in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) where he was taking out of his comfort zone by The Cleaner. On face value his run was disappointing, however he was first up at a mile and took on some match fit horses.

His Caulfield Stakes run again below par beaten 5.35 lengths. Stable reported he didn’t let down on the hard surface but he’s run out of chances for mine at this level, this preparation.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)

 Hartnell (Aus) 5YO Gelding

19 Starts: 7 wins 5 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,485,499
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3219     1st Up: 4:0-1-0    2nd Up: 3:1-2-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 9:3-3-0     Soft: 7:4-0-0     Heavy: 2:0-1-1    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA:  59kg         Group 1 Win: BMW Stakes 1st 2400m 28/03/15


Hartnell’s debut run in Australia was an unlucky 2nd to Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes over a Mile. That put his name on the map and he went on score a soft win over 2000m in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes before a blistering run to take out The Group 1 BMW (2400m) over the highly rated Japanese raider To The World.

The only knock on Hartnell is that he can be a little keen in the run and that was to his detriment when Godolphin attempted to get him over the 3200m of the Sydney Cup.

He ran a great race first up when posted as a false favourite in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600m. He was snagged back off a wide gate in the Turnbull Stakes to run home strongly for 6th. His last 150m of the Turnbull suggests he’s still no where near his peak fitness level. Can win the Cox Plate but don’t back him yet.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m), into the Melbourne Cup (3200m)


Arod (IRE) 5YO Horse

11 Starts: 4 wins 5 placing’s

Prizemoney: $951,613
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1609/2012     1st Up: 3:1-1-1    2nd Up: 2:0-1-1
Firm: 0:0-0-0    Good: 9:4-2-1    Soft: 1:0-1-0    Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 1:0-0-1

WFA:   57kg        Group 1 Win: NIL – Sussex Stakes 2nd 1609m 29/7/15


Arod was originally ruled out of the Cox Plate by his owner Sheikh Fahad due to quarantine complications. However, when the galloper was scratched from the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin in France (due to wet conditions) connections changed their mind and decided to send the horse to Australia.

A free ‘front running’ type, Arod progressed through the grades with the majority of his racing done at the 2000m distance. As Arod stepped up in grade, connections kept him to races at the mile where he registered some very impressive performances.

Arod took out a Group 3 1713m race before dominating the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1600m) by a length an half. He then gave UK champ Solow a massive fright when just getting run down in the concluding stages of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.

A talented galloper who appears at his best at the mile. He is yet to prove himself in a high pressure 2000m which looks his biggest challenge for the Cox Plate.


Likely lead up to Cox Plate

First up into the Cox Plate (2040m)


Preferment (Aus) 4YO Horse

14 Starts: 3 wins 5 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,503,405
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2000/2500     1st Up: 3:0-0-0    2nd Up: 3:1-0-1
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 8:2-3-0     Soft: 5:1-0-1     Heavy: 1:0-1-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 57.5    International Rating: 116    Key Race: Victoria Derby 1st G1 2500m 30/10/2014


Chris Waller’s Preferment is progressing nicely to a crack at the spring staying features.

The VRC Derby winner appears to have made that next step after taking out the Group 2 Hill Stakes over 2000m last weekend. It was a good staying performance fighting back off the canvass to Magic Hurricane after clearly being headed at the 200m.

He followed that performance up winning the G1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington stamping himself as a knockout contender for the Cox Plate and a genuine chance to win the Melbourne Cup. Hugh Bowman will ride him in both races.

Likely lead up to Cox Plate

Straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)


 Winx (AUS) 4yo Mare

14 starts: 8 wins 3 placeings

Prizemoney: $1,779,925

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1100/2200     1st Up: 4:3-0-0    2nd Up: 4:2-1-0

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 11:7-2-0     Soft: 2:0-1-0     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA: 55.5kg      Group 1 Win : Epsom 1st G1 1600m 03/10/15


Breathtaking winner at her last 3 starts in the G1 Queensland Oaks (Brisbane Winter) and this preparation in the G2 Theo Marks & G1 Epsom.

She’s on a rapid upward spiral with a lethal turn of foot, no race seems out of her grasp if given clear galloping room. Not a usual Cox Plate preparation but she looks like one out of the box.

Chris Waller is keeping her runs spaced and she’s likely to go into the race without another start. Her current price on the exchange is far too short and if you like her wait until race day.

Likely Lead up to Cox Plate:

Now straight into the Cox Plate (2040m)


Gailo Chop (FRA) 4yo Geilding

12 starts: 7 wins, 3 placings

Prizemoney: $811,169

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/2100     1st Up: 5:2-1-1    2nd Up: 4:3-0-0

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 7:3-1-1     Soft: 2:1-1-0     Heavy: 3:3-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

WFA: 59kg      Group 1 Win :


Winner on a Heavy track on 18 September of the G3 La Coupe at Maison in France deafeating Al Waab & Ectot. Ectot was the 2014 winner of the G2 Prix Neil defeating the eventual 2014 Cox Plate winner Adelaide (IRE).

In mid June, Gailo Chop finished 8th beaten 5.5 lengths in the G1 Prince Of Wales won by Free Eagle (IRE) on a Good surface finishing behind Criterion.

Currently $19 on the exchange but will shorten dramatically if there’s any rain leading up to the race.


Likely Lead up to Cox Plate:

First up into Cox Plate