Like Moonee Valley’s turf, the Cox Plate is cut and dried

By Mark “Makybe” Freeman


I can see clearly now, punters, the Plate has come…. it’s gonna be a deep, deep-pocket, fill-up day.


After the raffle of last week’s Caulfield Cup, the 2009 Cox Plate is as cut-and-dried as they come. There are only three genuine top flight stakes-class performers – Whobegotyou, Heart of Dreams and El Segundo.  Big El ran a slasher first up in the Auries Star, but his form since has tapered off, with some excuses. He’ll run a big race, but at eight years, he may no longer possess the sheer galloping power he used to lord over his rivals.


That leaves us with the in-form, at-the-peak-of-their-powers Whobe and Heart. Who said this wasn’t a cracking Cox Plate? These two have won some top shelf races between them – Caulfield Guineas, Cadbury Guineas, Underwood, Yalumba – and this spring have established themselves as Australia’s benchmark weight-for-age horses.


Heart was scrawny when he won his Guineas, but has filled out magnificently and is now an imposing looking beast. Whobe always pins his ears back and finds the line, but the difference since the blinkers were affixed is that he now has tactical speed, and is able to be placed in the field in the run instead of dropping out the back.


The gates set it up perfectly – Heart drawn to get run of race, Whobe out wider to give Oliver the chance to slot in behind.


Whobe’s love of the Valley – four from four – and the ease of his Yalumba win means he’s very close to a very good thing. But if he cops traffic issues and Heart of Dreams is able to steal a break at the 600 metres, then he could pinch it. I’ll be backing Whobe to win, with a saver on Heart.


Either way, it could be a ding-dong stoush of Bonecrusher/Our Waverley Star proportions.


And it’s Knacker favourite Hissing Sid’s day in the sun in the Moonee Valley Cup on Saturday. He put in a very solid and luckless run behind Alcopop in the Herbert Power, and if he’s trained on he will put paid to these easily. (If they’d booked ‘The Hok’ to ride he would have been a complete certainty!)


So Daff – it’s double Daff’s Cash Day – we’re dipping into the jar ($300 in the black) and blasting a double hunnert!


Melb R7 No.4 Hissing Sid $50 win ($4 Thursday night)

Melb R8 No.10 Whobegotyou $100 win ($3.25 Thurs)

Melb R7 Running double: No. 4 Hissing Sid into No.10 Whobegotyou $50 ($13 Thursday night)



And if you’re having a bet earlier in the day, have something each-way on Bolle in the Waterford Crystal Mile ($36 Thurs night)


Good luck punters.


  1. Agree that Whobe goes an extra lengths or 2 at the Valley but did anyone else think it should have won easier than he did last start. He could not have had an easier run and I expected him to explode away from the but thought he just ground it out. Maybe they kept some petrol in the tank for this week but I’m not convinced.

    I reckon the bombproof way to go is El Segundo each way (I will be ignoring my own advice and backing him straight out). Been happy with all his runs this time in other than last start when there were apparently excuses and he is NOT a Flemington horse anyway. Still got the quality and feel he’s set for this one and may retire after that. Do like Scenic Shot as a place chance as I thought his Turnbull run was incredible and you can’t ignore the obvious- Whobe and Heart of Dreams. Any others to win would surprise me.

  2. Mark Freeman says

    Budge in the Age today the lead racing yarn said: “The pair (whobe and heart) are the only two horses under double figure odds in what is regarded as the most open Cox Plate in years.”

    Most open in years!! Is that Eskander’s way of getting us off the obvious – that unless something badly untoward happens, only three can win it. They are the only genuine wfa horses – the rest of em are handicappers or mediocre three-year olds. Remarkable.

  3. Mark Freeman says

    Er… it appears something untoward has happened! What a debacle. Barted again.

    Very nice work Budge on turning a profit (El E/W) on a race it was almost impossible to get a collect out of, given the ‘mediocre’ 3-year-olds quinellaed the freakin’ thing.

  4. Mark Freeman says

    Whoops, such is the level of my malaise, I thought it was El third, when in fact it was Zipping.

    So let me rephrase: Bad luck Budge on nearly turning a profit on a race it was almost impossible to get a collect out of, given the ‘mediocre’ 3-year-olds quinellaed the freakin’ thing!

    I’ll shut up now.

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