The 2015 Cox Plate barrier draw has been conducted and Highland Reel is set to receive a lovely run into the race after he was allocated barrier four.
Connections of Highland Reel had the opportunity to select the second barrier and they elected to choose barrier four, which has not produced a winner since Makybe Diva famously took out the 2005 edition of the race.
Highland Reel took out the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2012m) at Arlington on August 15 and he could finish no better than fifth in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2011m), but he raced against some of the best horses in the world like Golden Horn and Free Eagle.
Godolphin have two runners in the 2015 Cox Plate field and the leading racing operation had plenty of luck at the Cox Plate barrier draw.
Complacent was the first horse drawn and assistant trainer Darren Beadman elected to select barrier six for the Craven Plate winner, while The BMW winner Hartnell will have the opportunity to take up a forward position from barrier six.
Another big winner of the 2015 Cox Plate barrier draw was Criterion, who is set to jump from barrier seven when he contests the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship for the second year in a row.
Criterion stamped himself as a leading Cox Plate contender when he recorded an impressive win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and his odds should shorten after he was allocated a barrier that has housed three of the last nine winners of the race.
The Cleaner is expected to take up the running in the early stages of the 2015 Cox Plate and he should have no troubles doing that after jockey Noel Callow chose barrier two.
The cult hero drew towards the outside of the Cox Plate field 12 months ago and he was forced to do plenty of work in the early stages of the race, but should be able to take up an uncontested lead in this year’s race.
Arod is also set to take up a forward position in the Cox Plate and he will be in the perfect position to settle in the box seat after he was allocated barrier five, while jockey Hugh Bowman will have to weave a passage on Winx from the inside gate.
While there were plenty of winners at the 2015 Cox Plate barrier draw, the big loser is Fawkner who is set to jump from the outside gate.
Fawkner received a lovely run into the Cox Plate when he jumped from barrier four in last year’s race, but he is unlikely to get the same luck in running from barrier 14, which has never produced the winner of the race.
Another barrier that has never housed the Cox Plate winner is barrier 12 and that was taken by connections of Mourinho, while Happy Trails will start between his fellow veterans in his fourth Cox Plate.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet (barrier 11) will also start in the second half of the Cox Plate field, while the Chris Waller-trained duo of Preferment (barrier nine) and Kermadec (barrier ten) will both likely go back from their gates.
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