2015 winner Winx will get her chance to be crowned the weight for age champion again as she heads the nominations for the 2016 Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) to be run at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Winx made a one act affair with a four and three quarter lengths win last year and is one of thirteen horses trainer Chris Waller has entered for this year’s running of the Weight For Age Championship Of Australasia.
“There is no bigger star in Australian racing at present than Winx and we’re excited to welcome her back to Melbourne for this Spring Racing Carnival as she strives to become the tenth horses to win consecutive Cox Plates,” Racing Victoria Executive General Manager – Racing Greg Carpenter said.
2014 Victoria Derby winner Preferment is another one of Waller’s multiple Group 1 winners among the one hundred and fifty-seven nominations for the Cox Plate.
Waller’s other entrants are Cellarman, Cosmic Cube, Counterattack, Grand Marshall, Makintosh, Omei Sword, Spiritjim, Storm The Stars, Tsaritsa, Vanburgh and Who Shot Thebarman.
Godolphin has nominated thirteen John O’Shea trained horses while it’s English trainer Charlie Appleby has nominated the well performed Scottish and Tryster.
Scottish is the winner of three races, including a last start win in the Listed £37,000 Steventon Stakes (2017m) at Newbury on July 16 while Tryster has saluted on nine occasions with his best win being the Group 1 US$300,000 Jebel Hatta (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 5.
O’Shea has a strong hand in the Cox Plate nominations with Group 1 winner Hartnell heading the Godolphin list of nominations.
The new training partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott is also strongly represented in the Cox Plate nominations with nine horses entered.
The well performed Excess Knowledge heads up the Tulloch Lodge team while promising three year olds El Divino and Thronum are also among the entrees.
The new look Lindsay Park training team of David Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig have the well performed import Dibayani and Group 1 winner Rising Romance heading up their eleven Cox Plate nominations.
Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will be looking for his second Cox Plate win after collecting the trophy in 2014 with Adelaide and has entered eleven of team as potential visitors to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival.
Last year’s third placegetter Highland Reel heads up the O’Brien team that also includes the outstanding Order Of St George who has won his last five starts, including his latest win in the Group 1 £400,000 Gold Cup (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot on June 16.
Carpenter said he was glad to see O’Brien returning to Australia with such a high quality team of horses.
“His 2015 Cox Plate placegetter Highland Reel and highly rated Group 1 winning Northern Hemisphere three year old The Gurkha and Deauville are among his standout nominations for the Cox Plate, a race he won in 2014 with Adelaide,” Carpenter said.