There are ten three-year-olds still in the hunt for the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) after the third acceptances were released by Racing Victoria this afternoon.
A number of colts and geldings are a chance to follow the same path taken to the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship as All Too Hard and Pierro last year; with confirmed Caulfield Guineas starters Cluster, Éclair Big Bang, Long Jong, Prince Harada and Shamus Award all still in contention for the $3 million race.
So You Think in 2009 was the last three-year-old to win the Cox Plate and only Star Affair (1965), Rajah Sahib (1968), Surround (1976) and Red Anchor (1984) have been able to achieve the Caulfield Guineas/Cox Plate double.
Thousand Guineas contenders Gregers and Guelph were also included in the third acceptances and will carry just 47.5kg if they end up starting in the race.
Samantha Miss was the last filly to compete in the Cox Plate, finishing third behind Maldivian in the 2008 edition of the race, while Surround in 1976 is the only filly to win the event.
There were no major withdrawals in the third acceptances and all of the major contenders remain on track to contest the event including internationally-trained hopefuls Mull Of Killough, Side Glance and Trevieres who have all settled in at the International Equine Centre in Werribee nicely.
Fiorente and Puissance De Lune are set to back-up from the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes, while Super Cool Hawkspur and Royal Descent are still a chance to do the same but are all more likely to contest the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) a week earlier.
It’s A Dundeel has been ruled out with injury but the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) this weekend is still set to be a the key trial for the Cox Plate.
Glamour mare Atlantic Jewel, Chris Waller-trained Foreteller, 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, imported stayer Sea Moon and French galloper Trevieres were all included in the nominations for the $400,000 event and have the opportunity to replicate the feat of Ocean Park who won the Caulfield Stakes/Cox Plate double last year.
Atlantic Jewel ($2.80) is a narrow favourite in Cox Plate betting markets from It’s A Dundeel ($4.80), Fiorente ($4.80) and Puissance De Lune ($6).