The odds for the three year old Royal Symphony have shortened up as he prepares to take on the wonder mare Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Royal Symphony’s price has firmed in from $21 to $16 on Thursday morning while Winx still dominates the betting at $1.16 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Tony McEvoy trained Royal Symphony was sent out as one of the main chances in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14 but was out of luck to finish fourth to the bolter Mighty Boss.
Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn was board the Domesday colt in the Caulfield Guineas but he can’t make the weight of 49.5kg that the three year old colts carry under the weight for age scale which paved the way for the lightweight jockey Dean Yendall gaining the mount in the Cox Plate.
While Dunn doesn’t think that Royal Symphony can stop Winx from winning her third consecutive Cox Plate trophy, he said that the colt has a great chance to fill a minor placing.
“You would be kidding yourself if you think you can beat her,” Dunn said.
“A live chance to run second and to run second to the best horse in the world is not a bad feat.”
McEvoy was disappointed that bad luck cost Royal Symphony a win in the Caulfield Guineas but he is unsure if the three year old is tough enough to stand the pressure of a Cox Plate at his first attempt at 2040m.
“Royal Symphony was luckless in the Caulfield Guineas,” McEvoy said.
“He ran fourth but I believe he should have won the race. And I think he’s improved.”
“The Cox Plate is a different race to any other. The pressure builds from the 1200-metre mark and you need a really tough horse. Is my horse tough enough? I’m not too sure. Is Winx tough? Yes.”
Royal Symphony has drawn barrier seven in the nine horse Ladbrokes Cox Plate field while Winx will jump from gate six with regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
The Chris Waller trained Winx is chasing her twenty-second win in succession and a third consecutive Cox Plate victory will see her equal the legendary Kingston Town’s record he set with wins in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Winx kicked off her 2017 Spring Carnival campaign with two heart stopping wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick before adding to her Group 1 winning tally with a convincing win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16.
The Queen Of The Australian Turf then took her Group 1 winning record to fourteen with a runaway win in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and in the process extended her winning sequence to twenty-one.