A record two hundred and twenty-five 2014 Cox Plate nominations which were released today by the Moonee Valley Racing Club include early favourite Carlton House, one of thirteen horses from the Gai Waterhouse stable listed among the entries.
The number of entries is up from one hundred and fifty-eight last year and include twenty-nine internationals, up from twelve in 2013.
Waterhouse is chasing her first win in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 after saddling up three placegetters in the last five running’s of the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’ with Fiorente and Pierro finishing third in the last two years while Manhattan Rain was runner up in 2009.
Waterhouse’s number one rider Tommy Berry said that he would stick with Carlton House with Dan Excel being his second choice after partnering the high quality Hong Kong galloper to two Group 1 victories overseas.
“Carlton House would be first pick for Cox Plate ahead of Dan Excel for “my boss”,” Berry said.
The Danny O’Brien trained Shamus Award won the 2013 Cox Plate as a three year old and this year’s nominations has attracted fifty from that age group, including last season’s two year old Group 1 winners Almalad from the Waterhouse stable and the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Go Indy Go.
Other notable entries from Tulloch Lodge are Group 1 winners Cosmic Endeavour (Tattersall’s Tiara) and Diamond Drille (Queen Of The Turf) as well as promising three year olds Echo Prince, Valentia and Wandjina.
Mukhadram is one of the invited internationals which also include Dan Excel, Smoking Sun and Trading Leather.
“The horse I’d really love to see here is Mukhadram,” Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon said.
The William Haggas trained English star Mukhadram is the winner of five races including the Group 1 £400,000 Coral – Eclipse (1 mile 2 furlongs 7 yards) at Sandown on July 5.
Sydney’s premiership trainer Chris Waller, also looking for his first Cox Plate victory, has nominated sixteen for the weight for age championship.
Waller’s Cox Plate team is full of Group 1 winners including Boban, Foreteller, Hawkspur, My Kingdom Of Fife, Sacred Falls, Who Shot Thebarman and Royal Descent.
Prominent Caulfield trainer Peter Moody has entered nine as he strives to win his maiden Cox Plate and his entries include Group 1 winners Brambles, Dissident and Moment Of Change.
Newly crowned Melbourne trainer’s premiership winner Darren Weir has entered seven including his popular grey Puissance De Lune
Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered four for the Cox Plate including Group 1 winner Magician and star colt Adelaide as well as Table Rock and Venus De Milo.
Star Kiwi mare Silent Achiever will represent New Zealand trainer Roger James and has put herself high up in contention after collecting two Group 1 trophies during the Sydney Autumn Carnival by taking out the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill.
Norzita is one of three from the Bart and James Cummings stable while last year’s Cox Plate runner up Happy Trials has his name in the nominations lists again.
In early betting for the 2014 Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au Carlton House has been marked the $9 favourite ahead of Sacred Falls and Silent Achiever who share the second line of betting at $11 with Royal Descent at $13 and Almalad, Happy Trails and Norzita at $15.