Almanac Horseracing – Cox Plate Weekend Preview: Don’t forget rule Number One

Greetings All,


The temerity of the Cheeky Chappy from the UK to question the credentials of Winx.  While CJW appropriately defended his star and put the rule number one label of dickhead on Chappy, there is some merit in the commentary.  For the last couple of years she has scared off most of the local competition racing against small fields.  Connections have protected the mare choosing not to travel with CJW throwing down the challenge for the internationals to come and play on her home turf.  Come they have with Saaed Bin Suroor presenting Benbatl and Aidan O’Brien with Rostropovich.  The argument should be settled at about 5:05 on Saturday.


There are 16 races for decision before that with Friday Night and Saturday.  Forecast is OK any rain though can play havoc with how the track plays on day two so watch carefully.  Let’s get into the meetings and leave last week’s efforts to the end.


Moonee Valley


Friday Night


Great race in the third with Iconoclasm (R3, #3) and Widgee Turf (R3, #1) as favourites, Vinland (R3, #7) also has plenty of quality.  Waging War (R4, #4) might just have the pull in the weights over Odeon (R4, #2), Mr Garcia (R4, #1) might be the value.  Respect Weir and Tamasa (R8, #5) in the last, Shokora (R8, #7) has been running in good company this might be her go


Race 7 – Manikato Stakes (G1, 1200m, WFA)


Sunlight (14) will set the pace with an astute engagement of T Clark as the pilot.  He was terrific winning two races last week rating the speed and will try and do the same in this one.  Can she hold them off?  Would not surprise if she held on, but thinking she will get caught.  Generally ignoring any form from the Everest where the heavy track had such an impact.  Putting a couple of the Everest failures on top with U S Navy Flag (8) and Brave Smash (1) as top two with plenty of other threats.  Voodoo Lad (4) loves the Valley, Malaguerra (3) is 5 from 7 first up and Houtzen (10) is flying.  The other challenge is Kementari (3) always a spruik horse and rarely runs a poor one, suspect he will be steaming home also.


Selections – 8-1-2-4





The day open with the babies most only seen at the trials, we did see Biscara (R1, #6) finish second at Caulfield.  Another Champagne Boom and could finish 2nd again!  If they go hard in the 2nd then it could on for Invincible Al (R2, #7)


Race 3 – Tesio Stakes (G3, 1600m, Mares SWP)


Savatiano (2) is a short price here off a solid finish in the Blazer at Flemington, not far behind her was Bring me Roses (4) who meets her 4½ kgs better on weights.  Like them both but better value on roses.  Silent Roar (10) won well at Bendigo and could put some extra value in, while Mrs Gardenia (3) and Princess Posh (1) are both in with a chance here.


Selections – 4-2-10-3


Open affair in the fourth, Assertive Play (R4, #2) did run well behind Sunlight and gets McEvoy.


Race 5 – Red Anchor Stakes (G2, 1200m, 3yo SWP)


Provided Bleu Roche (13) can get some cover and the track is playing fair he can swamp them.  Just missed at Flemington coming from a long way back.  Spin (3) hit a heavy track in Sydney back on dry ground with the Snowden polish will be around the mark as will Sunset Watch (4) who is 3 from 5 and a winner over this journey last start.  Still pretty open after that, Ragged Rascal (2) form does not look great but has been running against the best – some concern coming back from 1600m.  Aylmerton (1) flopped in the bog, will be fitter and appreciate a better surface.


Selections – 13-3-4-1


Race 6 – Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (G2, 1600m, Fillies SW)


Fundamentalist (2) was superb in the Thousand Guineas the winner isn’t here and she beat the rest reckon she can do that again.  The Weir pair Krone (4) and Anjana (5) also ran well.  Pierro Belle (9) was not far the Thousand Guineas winner the start before.  El Dorado Dreaming (1) can improve after an average run last start.


Selections – 2-5-9-4


Race 7 – Chrystal Mile (G2, 1600m, WFA)


Always a tough race leading up to the Cantala and McKinnon at Flemington.  Cliff’s Edge (8) and Siege of Quebec (9) dominate the market both coming off excellent runs in the Toorak Handicap.  The handicap is important – they both need to lug an extra 6½ kg in a WFA event like this.  It’s Somewhat (1) and Prized Icon (2) are used to lumping big weights and have performed at group one level and should be on song for this.


Selections – 2-1-8-9


Race 8 – Moonee Valley Gold Cup (G2, 2500m, SWP)


What a raffle?  A great renewal of this race as the stayers prepare for the big race nine days later.  Any selection will be a risk and none more so than Tosen Basil (13) whose form is mixed, hoping the outside draw and with cover might help him.  Egg Tart (3) is in consistent form and not many better pilots than KMac over a staying journey.  Ventura Storm (14) gets in well on the weights here and finished as well as anything in the Caulfield Cup last week.  Libran (10) wants it dry – should get it and can run well.  No scratchings yet, however should Nakeeta (16) get a run it must be a huge chance – ran 5th in 2017 Melbourne Cup.


Selections – 13-3-14-10


Race 9 – WS Cox Plate (G1, 2040m, WFA)


The host proclaimed WFA Championship with Winx (6) going for her fourth.  A field light on for numbers but a couple of them not just making them up.  The foreign raiders are out to upset the apple cart and Benbatl (1) looks to the one best equipped was in for the fight to win the Caulfield Stakes.  Rostropovich (7) is a northern hemisphere 3yo like Rekindling last year will go to the lead and fight on,  has been running 2400m so not sure he will have the brilliance to keep them out – but if he runs Tuesday week?  Humidor (2) got as close as anyone last year as a run between the cups, this is his target DKW has stated he is happy to “shoot Bambi”.  The blinkers go on for the throw at the stumps, not without a chance but throwing from Deep Backward Square with one stump to aim at.  Kings Will Dream (3) is on the same path as Humidor (2) last year and also gets the blinkers, not sure he is as good as his stablemate.  Avilius (4) is a winner, really running this to prepare for the cup – so was Makybe Diva in 2005 – she wasn’t running against Winx (6)D’Argento (5) was finishing as well as Humidor (2) last start – CJW couldn’t do it, could he?  Savvy Coup (8) is the best NZ has to offer, not this year though.


Selections – 6-2-1-8


Race 10 – Moonee Valley Vase (G2, 2040m, 3yo SW)


We finished with the Derby and Oaks lead up race where boys and girls collide.  A clear top boy and top girl for me with a suspicion the girl will not run.  Verry Ellegant (13) was outstanding last week winning against the pattern of the day.  DKW weighing up whether to run her this week or in the Wakeful in the lead up to the Oaks.  Aramayo (1) is the top boy beat home Thinkin’ Big in the Spring Champion should be well set for this with an eye to the Derby next week.  Of the others Dealmaker (4) and Mickey Blue Eyes (3) also come out of the Spring Champion, Savoie (5) is consistent.


Selections – 13-1-3-4-5


Quaddie Time


The usual challenge with Winx in a quaddie is how do you make some money, the openness of the first two legs might provide some value this time.  Go as wide as you like in the cup.  We keep it narrow in the last with only top boy and top girl.  If girl is scratched then thrown in the next one or two in the selection – or even go one out as Aramayo could start in the red.


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 7, 8, 9

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 (16 if it gets a run)

Leg 3 – 6

Leg 4 – 1, 13


110 Combinations, $30 investment will return 27.8% of the dividend.


The Scoreboard


Found the winner of the cup as 3rd selection but not much other joy in the race with the top selection hamstrung by the farcical pace.  So close with Khulaasa and Yulong January.  Found Eduardo as top pick with a convenient scratching.  Soothing could not stop the impressive From WithinVerry Ellegant got home and could again this week.  As suspected Thinkin’ Big was the main danger – once it got rolling there was no danger.  Would have loved to see him in the Cox Plate.  Best of Days shared the prize with Mask of Time who was suited by the soft conditions.  No luck in the mares with Shumookh controlling the race and blowing out the quaddie, found the placegetters in the last but left out the winner Sirconni.


Go Winx, go Bleu Roche


Go The Chokers


Cheers, Sal


Quaddie 2 – A bit more of the dividend!


Leg 1 – 3, 7

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 14, 17, 18

Leg 3 – 4, 9

Leg 4 – 5, 8


40 Combinations, $10 investment will return 25% of the dividend.


Go the young star,


Cheers, Sal


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