Tassie champ Mystic Journey and last Saturday’s George Main Stakes winner Avilius lead the charge against the international horses after second acceptances were taken for the 2019 Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 26.
Sixty-eight horses remain in contention for the Cox Plate which also includes ten internationally trained horses.
The Kiwis are also well represented with the Jamie Richards trained eight times Group 1 winner Melody Belle and her highly rated stablemate Te Akau Shark also among the second acceptances for the weight for age Championship.
Adam Trinder’s Mystic Journey and the James Cummings trained Avilius share favouritism with Japanese weight for age star Lys Gracieux at $6 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“That was a Cox Plate effort today (Saturday) but his first runs this campaign demonstrated he was more a Caulfield Cup. We have some thinking to do. He’s airborne,” Cummings said after Avilius’ win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday.
“We’ve been confident in the horse all the way along. We haven’t lost any confidence in him. A great ride from Kerrin to bring him into the race off that kind of pressure. It’s what we needed to see.”
The Liam Howley trained Homesman is next in the betting at $9 and comes into Cox Plate calculations with a strong win in the Group 2 $250,000 Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 7.
Early betting for the 2019 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Avilius, Mystic Journey, Lys Gracieux, $9 Homesman, $14 Danceteria, $15 Mr Quickie, $17 Kluger, Verry Eleegant, $19 Latrobe, Melody Belle, $26 Rostropovich, Te Akau Shark, Yucatan, $31 Castelvecchio, Dalasan, Gatting, Hartnell, Humidor, $34 or better the rest.