Winx Draws Barrier Six in Nine Horse Cox Plate Field
To those that have much, much will be given and much will be expected.
Winx has won 21 in a row and was given the plum sixth barrier for Saturday’s Group 1 Cox Plate (2040 M) at Moonee Valley. She is going for her 22nd consecutive and a third Cox Plate would place her squarely in the conversation with previous three-time winners, the only other being Kingston Town in the early 80s. The list of two-time winners is a bit longer, the last being So You Think in 2009 – 10.
Northerly won twice in 2001 – 02.
In the last year before the turn to the 21stcentury, Sunline won, and then backed that win with another in 2000.
The field for the 2017 Cox Plate has been winnowed to nine.
Winx has shortened by a penny on Ladbrokes, while Gailo Chop, Humidor and Royal Symphony are up for $17 to $18. Two runners are priced at over $100, Seaburge at $101 and Hardham at $151, so it might as well be considered a seven-horse race, although objectively, it is really just Winx and the aforementioned three that belong in the field.
Happy Clapper ($21) drew wide, but his recent form would tend to make one think that he would be a favourite save for the presence of Winx in the field.
Winx jockey Hugh Bowman should have little issue with the weight, as Winx will have only a mare’s two-kilogram advantage over the boys’ 59 kg.
Royal Symphony rider Dean Yendall on the other hand, might have to have meals consistently of a sip of water and a few deep breaths, as the three-year-old colt he is riding will have to deal with only 49.5 kg.
The Cox Plate is race number nine on the card (counting Friday evening’s race) and there is plenty of Group level racing to get things underway, commencing with the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200 m) on Friday evening.
The Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200 m) will be the second race on the card, and the Group 3 Tesio Stakes (1600 m) will close out the day. Just prior, the Group 2 Moonee Valley Stakes (2500 m) might feature a Melbourne Cup runner or two.