Caulfield Cup second favourite Bonneval could be a possible rival for Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval was being set for the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 but a change of plans is in the air after the Makfi mare scored an impressive first up win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley last Saturday.
The winner of the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Cox Plate and co-trainer Andrew Forsman said they would give plenty of thought of running the Australian Oaks winner in the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’.
Bonneval is now likely to run in the Group 1 $750,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1 and Forsman said that result would determine if she sticks to weight for age company or heads to the Caulfield Cup under handicap conditions.
“She doesn’t have to run in a Caulfield Cup,” Forsman told racing.com.
“She’s going to have a run at Caulfield before then and the only thing I’d say about Caulfield is that it might be a bit of awkward track for her to get back and get balanced up on.
“She certainly handled The Valley very well.”
“There’s no disgrace in running second or third in a Cox Plate so if she’s goes to Caulfield and she doesn’t get around that well, it gives us that option,” he said.
“That’s something we need to talk about but obviously we’ll go through that difficult weight-for-age path up until that point and see how well Winx is going.”
Bonneval handled the wet conditions during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival to take out the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick which followed her win in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in New Zealand.
Early beating for the 2017 Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Bonneval marked as the second favourite at $8 behind the James Cummings trained Hartnell at $6.50 while in Cox Plate markets she is listed as a $51 chance with Winx dominating the betting at $1.50.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $21 Hartnell, $26 Highland Reel, Tosen Stardom, $34 Egg Tart, Humidor, $41 Deauville, Exospheric, Gailo Chop, Royal Symphony, Yankee Rose, $51 or better the rest.