The 2015 Cox Stakes field has been released and Delicacy is set to start the race as a short-priced favourite after she drew barrier six at the barrier draw for the Group 2 event.
Delicacy stamped herself as one of the most talented fillies in Australia when she took out the Group 3 Western Australian Oaks (2400m), Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m), Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) and Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) during her autumn campaign and she started her summer preparation with a credible third in the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 7.
The Al Maher filly started the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) as favourite, but she was not suited by the slow tempo of the race and could finish no better than sixth before she was only narrowly denied by star filly Perfect Reflection in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 5.
The Kingston Town Classic is always the key lead-up race to the Cox Stakes and that will be the case again in 2015 as Dark Musket, Extra Zero, Real Love, Black Heart Bart, Tower Of Lonhro, Woodsville, Bass Strait and Balmont Girl are also set to back-up in the Group 2 event.
One of the only horses in the 2015 Cox Stakes field that did not run in the Kingston Town Classic is Kirov Boy, who will start the race as one of the outsiders.
Kirov Boy failed to beat home a single horse in the Listed Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) on September 27, the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1420m) on October 21 and the Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) on November 7, but he returned to a semblance of his best form with a narrow second behind Dubai Escapade in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) on November 21.
The other fresh horse in the Cox Stakes field is veteran gelding Ask Me Nicely, who at nine years-of-age is set to make his debut at Group 2 level.
Ask Me Nicely took out the Listed Boulder Cup (2100m) at Kalgoorlie on September 20, but he has been unable to replicate that form in recent starts and he missed the placings in the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) on November 14, the Tattersall’s Cup and the Listed Towton Cup (2200m) on December 5.
Recent winners of the Cox Stakes include God Has Spoken (2011), Mr Moet (2012), Ihtsahymn (2013) and Elite Belle (2014).