The 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate third acceptances have been released and 34 horses remain in contention to face Winx in the Group 1 event at The Valley on October 28.
Winx shortened even further in 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting markets following her absolutely dominant victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday and she is now into $1.20 to join Kingston Town as the only horse to win the Cox Plate three years in a row.
The great mare will go into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate without another race start and it would take a brave man to bet against her following her incredible Turnbull Stakes win.
The Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) was expected to be the major goal for Hartnell during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival, but he will contest the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield this weekend and there is now every chance that he will take on Winx in the Cox Plate once again.
Hartnell started his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive win in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), but he has since been beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Another horse that looks set to take on Winx in the Cox Plate for the second year in a row is Patrick Webster-trained Happy Clapper.
Happy Clapper gave Winx a serious race when they did battle in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick and he went on to claim a maiden Group 1 victory in the Epsom Handicap a fortnight later.
The Epsom Handicap winner will start the $500,000 Craven Plate this weekend as a dominant favourite and he will then likely head to Melbourne for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2017 Cox Plate third acceptances is Tony McEvoy-trained Royal Symphony, who will contest the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) this weekend.
McEvoy was initially reluctant to set Royal Symphony for a battle with Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, but he revealed that he is open to the idea if Royal Symphony wins or runs a big race in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas.
The other three-year-olds that remains in Cox Plate calculations are Catchy, Kementari, Levendi and Sanctioned.
There is still a chance that the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate could have an international presence and a number of international gallopers remain in the third acceptances.
Godolphin-owned Folkswood and Kaspersky are both set to take their place in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate field, while Johannes Vermeer, Riven Light and Taj Mahal remain in contention.
Winx is available at 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate odds of $1.20 from Happy Clapper ($21), Hartnell ($21), Gingernuts ($26), Humidor ($26) and Royal Symphony ($26).