The Moonee Valley Racing Club has invited eight international high profile horses to take on Winx in the 2017 Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28.
The Chris Waller trained Winx will be trying to equal the the record of legendary Kingston Town in winning a third Cox Plate after collecting the winning trophy in 2015 and 2016.
Kingston Town was trained by the all-conquering Tommy Smith to win the 1980, 1981 and 1982 Cox Plates.
Multiple Group 1 winner Highland Reel from the stables of champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, has been invited back to challenge Winx again after finishing third to the super mare in the 2015 Cox Plate.
Highland Reel has won Group 1 races in England, Hong Kong and The United States and at 123 is the highest rated of the International Invitees.
O’Brien knows what it takes to win the Cox Plate and took the winning trophy back to Ireland when Adelaide circled the field to win the 2014 Weight For Age Championship.
Winx’s inseparable jockey Hugh Bowman has also established a winning relationship with the Hong Kong trained super star Werther but leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore will be looking for a new rider if he accepts the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s invitation to run in the Cox Plate.
Bowman has just returned from another quick fire trip to Hong Kong where he partnered Werther to a third Group 1 win together in the HK$10,000,000 Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on May 28.
Three horses from Great Britain have been invited to run in the 2017 Cox Plate, The Richard Fahey trained Ribchester, Roger Charlton’s Decorated Knight and Scottish whom trainer Charlie Appleby brought out for last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival and finished second to Jameka in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
French Group 1 winner Mekhtaal along with Japan’s Makahiki and Neorealism have also been invited to run in the 2017 Cox Plate.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.60 Winx, $13 Highland Reel, Makahiki, $21 Ribchester, Werther, $26 Egg Tart, Mekhtaal, Neorealism, $34 Articus, Decorated Knight, Exospheric, Gingernuts, Hartnell, Omei Sword, Redkirk Warrior, Scales Of Justice, Scottish, Tosen Stardom, Yankee Rose, $41 or better the rest.