All the main players are still intact for the 2014 Cox Plate after second acceptances were received by the Moonee Valley Racing Club today.
Early favourite Fawkner is one of three Robert Hickmott trained gallopers among the sixty-seven horses left in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) to be run at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Hickmott’s other entries are 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and Zabeel three year old Divan.
Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody has been left with two, the in-form Dissident and French import Lidari.
Dissident has recorded Group 1 wins at his last two starts in the $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and in the $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
While Lidari was beaten less than two lengths at his last start when fourth to Foreteller in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Foreteller is also among the second acceptances and is one of seven Chris Waller trained gallopers still heading towards the Cox Plate.
Waller’s other Cox Plate hopefuls are Boban, Hawkspur, He’s Your Man, Junoob, Sacred Falls and Royal Descent.
Sacred Falls was back in the winner’s stall last Saturday when he beat stablemate Royal Descent in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick with Hawkspur close up in fourth spot.
Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien still has Adelaide in the mix while the overseas contingent is well represented with the John Moore trained Hong Kong star Dan Excel high up in the ratings.
English gallopers Farraaj, trained by Roger Varian, Guest of Honour from the Marco Botti stable and last year’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance are all still in contention.
Last year’s Cox Plate runner-up Happy Trials is still in the mix and indicated that he is back in form with a nail biting second to Foreteller in the Underwood Stakes.
Super Kiwi mare Silent Achiever is also on track for the Cox Plate and made up ground behind Foreteller when fifth last Saturday.
And the Mick Burles trained The Cleaner is also among the second acceptances after becoming exempt from the ballot for ‘The Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’ with his all the way win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
Other highly rated locals still in contention for the Cox Plate are last start Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes winner Commanding Jewel, the popular Puissance De Lune from the Darren Weir stable, Lucia Valentina from the Kris Lees stable and the Gai Waterhouse trained Almalad.