The WS Cox Plate – Showdown at Moonee Valley

Australian punters know they have hit the heart of springtime when the top horse racing connections are unveiling their top horses for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Long before the nation comes to a stop for the Melbourne Cup, punters and racing fans are treated to one of the most prestigious races in the world, the WS Cox Plate.

In the past, this race has been won by some of the greatest equine heroes in Australian horse racing history. In fact, the Cox Plate has been a key factor in writing that history. Past winners include the likes of Phar Lap, Chathum, Northerly, Sunline, Kingston Town, Makybe Diva and last year’s victor, the brilliant mare Winx.

This year’s WS Cox Plate is scheduled to be run on October 22, 2016 at the Moonee Valley Race Course in Melbourne, Victoria. It will be run at a distance of 2040 meters on turf for 3-yer olds and over with weights assigned based on weight-for-age conditions and penalties. The purse is AUS$3,000,000.

The Victoria Racing Club has reported there are 53 nominations after the second declarations. The current list of possible entrants includes many of the top handicap middle distance horses from Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. Among the top contenders, future odds included, are Hartnell – 8.00, Lucia Valentina – 13.00, Vadamos (France) – 15.00 and The United States – 17.00.

While each of these horses deserves the utmost consideration and respect, there are two horse that stand out above the crowd. Winx and Black Heart Bart are the two best horses in the nation. They were the top two horses in training by the end of the 2015-16 racing season and have done nothing this racing season, but reaffirm their positions as the top two. Here’s a quick look at the profile for each of these tremendous thoroughbreds.

Winx – There has never been a moment in Winx’s racing career that the 5-year old mare wasn’t intended to be something special. Since May of last year, she has run off 11 straight wins, including 7 Group 1 events. After being named Australia’s “Horse of the Year,” this mare has come back with 2 victories in preparation for her opportunity to defend her title in this very race. At her current odds of 1.90, she figures to be very tough to beat.

Black Heart Bart – This 6-year old gelding spent the first three years of his racing career making money and running around the fringes of the top horses in the country. Beginning in 2016, Black Heart Bart became a formidable superstar. In fact, he has finished first and second in six of the most significant Group 1 events held in the nation. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 racing season, he has already finished a hard fought second in the Group 1 Makybe Diva and first in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes.

From a handicapping prospective, it seems unlikely that the winner of this race will be anyone other than one of these two superstars. Regardless, the real winners will be racing fans, who will get the chance to experience the thrill of the showdown at Moonee Valley.


Sports analyst and horse racing handicapper Farris Garrison is happy to bring his Australian and international news and analysis to the various fans and punters online. Before you start betting get a good free bet from the big bookmakers  

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