Melbourne Cup favourite Avilius has been included in the third acceptances for the 2018 Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.
Twenty-five horses remain in contention for the Cox Plate which also includes the Chris Waller trained Winx who is chasing her fourth consecutive win in the Weight For Age Championship.
Avilius gained automatic entry into the 2018 Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 after winning the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 6 and will now carry 54.5kg after receiving a 1.5kg penalty.
Trainer James Cummings has elected to miss the more traditional Melbourne Cup lead up of running in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and will use the Cox Plate as the import’s last run before lining up in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ on the first Tuesday in November.
“He now has his first victory over a staying distance and under a lot of pressure he was able to prove he could still perform and show that turn of foot despite a genuine and tough pace throughout,” Cummings said.
“We can now give the horse three weeks to the Cox Plate and if we’re lucky enough to gain a start in that race, then he’ll be perfect for the Melbourne Cup.
“We feel that the best progression for Avilius is to head to the Cox Plate and we won’t be accepting in the Caulfield Cup.”
Avilius is undefeated from four starts for Cummings since arriving from Europe at the end of 2017 and has been posted as the $10 favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup and is marked at $21 for the Cox Plate while Winx is a very dominant $1.20 favourite to make it four Cox Plate wins on the trot.
The third acceptances for the Cox Plate still has a great international flavour with several European horses still in contention and include the Aidan O’Brien trained My Cliffs Of Moher and Rostropovich plus the Godolphin trio of Benbatl, Blair House and Emotionless.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir still has six horses remaining among the Cox Plate third acceptances, Danon Liberty, Humidor, Kings Will Dream, Mr Garcia, Night’s Watch and Plein Ciel.
Early betting for the 2018 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.20 Winx, $13 Humidor, $18 Benbatl, $21 Avilius, D’Argento, $26 The Autumn Sun, Unforgotten, $34 Kings Will Dream, $41 Blair House, Homesman, $61 Cliffs Of Moher, El Dorado Dreaming, Emotionless, Night’s Watch, $71 Savvy Coup, $101 Harlem, Rostropovich, The Taj Mahal, Thinkin’ Big, $201 Arbeitsam, Danon Liberty, Mr Garcia, Plein Ciel, Siege Of Quebec, Trap For Fools.
Third acceptances for the 2018 Cox Plate
|1||05138×4646||ARBEITSAM||G||5||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||59kg|
|2||x3326x1111||AVILIUS (GB)||G||5||James Cummings||59kg|
|3||x1121x015x||BENBATL (GB)||H||5||Saeed Bin Suroor||59kg|
|4||00x22110x4||BLAIR HOUSE (IRE)||G||6||Charlie Appleby||59kg|
|5||533x98x065||DANON LIBERTY (JPN)||H||7||Darren Weir||59kg|
|6||7x623x2x1x||EMOTIONLESS (IRE)||H||6||Charlie Appleby||59kg|
|7||x28167x006||HARLEM (GB)||G||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||59kg|
|8||2153x16x21||HOMESMAN (USA)||G||5||Liam Howley||59kg|
|9||x4184x8173||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||6||Darren Weir||59kg|
|10||11111×4323||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||G||5||Darren Weir||59kg|
|11||57x15x8251||MR GARCIA (GB)||G||6||Darren Weir||59kg|
|12||78x512433x||MY CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien||59kg|
|13||12141×2131||NIGHT’S WATCH (NZ)||G||5||Darren Weir||59kg|
|14||11x31x3103||PLEIN CIEL (GER)||G||6||Darren Weir||59kg|
|15||5041x8x791||THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE)||H||5||Liam Howley||59kg|
|16||16×6321175||TRAP FOR FOOLS||G||5||Jarrod McLean||59kg|
|18||x1295x2717||SIEGE OF QUEBEC||H||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||57.5kg|
|20||13×4192251||ROSTROPOVICH (IRE)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien||56kg|
|21||133115×521||SAVVY COUP (NZ)||M||4||Michael & Matthew Pitman||55.5kg|
|23||111×31||THE AUTUMN SUN||C||3||Chris Waller||49.5kg|
|24||13113||THINKIN’ BIG||C||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||49.5kg|
|25||3x4213x3||EL DORADO DREAMING||F||3||Kris Lees||47.5kg|