Champion mare Winx is on tune to score her fourth straight Cox Plate win after drawing barrier six in the final eight horse field for the 2018 Weight For Age Championship at The Valley on Saturday.
Winx completed her final serious workout for the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley this morning and trainer Chris Waller reported that horse and jockey Hugh Bowman were happy with the gallop.
“Hughie gave me that customary smile and that’s always good to see,” Waller said.
“She looks perfect to my eye. I haven’t been able to fault any part of her preparation. I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
Bowman will be able to give a Winx a trouble free run from barrier six and not get boxed in on the fence like what happened last start when she had to work her way into the clear before claiming her twenty-eighth straight win with a one length victory in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.
Winx will be lining up against her stablemate D’Argento who drew barrier two with Kerrin McEvoy booked to ride while Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will saddle up last year’s Cox Plate runner up Humidor and beaten Caulfield Cup favourite King’s Will Dream.
Humidor has drawn barrier seven with Damian Lane in the saddle while John Allen goes onto King’s Will Dream who will jump from gate four.
The Godolphin royal blue colours will be carried by the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Benbatl and Avilius who is trained by James Cummings.
Suroor saddled up Best Solution to win last Saturday’s Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield while Benbatl goes into the Cox Plate on the back of a win in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Benbatl has drawn barrier three with England based jockey Oisin Murphy to ride while Avilius has drawn the rails for Glyn Schofield.
Ireland’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien will saddle up the promising Rostropovich with Ryan Moore to ride from the outside gate last start New Zealand Group 1 winner Savvy Coup drew barrier five with Chris Johnson on top.
Early betting for the 2018 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.25 Winx, $9 Benbatl, $13 Humidor, $17 Avilius, $21 Kings Will Dream, $26 D’Argento, Rostropovich, Savvy Coup.
Final field for the 2018 Cox Plate
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x1121x0151||BENBATL (GB)||Saeed Bin Suroor||Oisin Murphy||3||59kg||123|
|2||4184×81733||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||7||59kg||118|
|3||1111×43236||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||Darren Weir||John Allen||4||59kg||116|
|4||x3326x1111||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||1||59kg||115|
|5||13714×3225||D’ARGENTO||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||2||57.5kg||116|
|6||11x111x111||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||6||57kg||130|
|7||13×4192251||ROSTROPOVICH (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||8||56kg||113|
|8||133115×521||SAVVY COUP (NZ)||Michael & Matthew Pitman||Chris Johnson||5||55.5kg||113|