Form expert Daniel O’Sullivan does not have Winx in his 2015 Cox Plate odds and he believes that the talented mare is well under the odds in current betting markets for the Group 1 event that will be held at Moonee Valley tomorrow afternoon.
The avalanche of money for Winx has continued and she is now set to start the 2015 Cox Plate as a $5 favourite.
Winx delivered on her potential when she took out both the Group 2 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at the end of her autumn campaign and she recorded impressive wins in both the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 and the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3, but O’Sullivan still believes that the daughter of Street Cry would need to improve over two lengths to be any chance in the 2015 Cox Plate.
“At the risk of being one out because everybody else seems to want to be on her, I can’t like Winx in this race,” O’Sullivan told RSN.
“She has established her talent in soft, average run races where she gets a great chance to relax and then unleash a turn-of-foot.
“The only time we ever saw her in a race with decent pressure was the Australian Oaks where she didn’t run home anywhere near as well as we have come to expect.
“At this stage she has never run an overall time rating even remotely in the ball park of what is needed to win this because she has been competing in softer pace races.
“We are not talking about a mare that is already established at this elite level, we are talking about a mare that still has to improve two lengths better than she has ever gone before and do that in a race with so much more pressure.
“It is not impossible, but that profile does not appeal to me at all at $6.”
The other horse that O’Sullivan is happy to leave out of his 2015 Cox Plate selections is Winx’s stablemate Preferment, who is currently available at Cox Plate odds of $13.
Preferment produced impressive efforts to take out the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4, but O’Sullivan believes that Preferment is yet to prove himself at weight-for-age level and does not represent any value at his current price in Cox Plate betting markets.
“I really don’t like Preferment at that price,” O’Sullivan said.
“I think that he should be $26 or $31 rather than $13.
“He is a handicapper for me not a weight-for-age horse and he is going to be coming from back near last in this field.
“I expect more from him a really good Melbourne Cup trial and he could finish in the first half dozen, but he would need to take a massive step forward in his rating to win a race like this.”
Highland Reel is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes and he remains favourite from Winx ($6), Criterion ($6.50), Arod ($8) and Kermadec ($8.50).