The 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field has been released and champion mare Winx will take on eight rivals in the Group 1 event at The Valley on Saturday.
Winx can emulate Kingston Town’s record of three straight Cox Plate victories on Saturday and she had her final hit-out before her chance at history with a gallop at Breakfast With The Best at The Valley this morning.
Trainer Chris Waller was thrilled with the way Winx came through her gallop this morning and he couldn’t be happier with the equine superstar ahead of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate this Saturday.
The big surprise in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field is Humidor, who is set to back-up following his tough run in the Caulfield Cup last weekend.
Humidor looked in supreme form when he won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 16, but he was no match for Winx in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on October 7 and he just missed the placings in the Caulfield Cup last weekend.
The other surprising additions in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field are Hardham and Seaburge.
Hardham is on the quick back-up after finishing tenth behind Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup last weekend, while Seaburge produced an improved effort to finish fifth behind Tosen Stardom in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on October 14.
There will be an international presence in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field, with Folkswood and Kaspersky set to take on Winx in the Group 1 event.
Folkswood made his Australian racing debut with a dominant victory in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 15 and will score an incredible $1 million bonus for connections if he can upset Winx in the Cox Plate.
Kaspersky failed to fire in his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14, but he is a class horse that finished fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1609m) at Royal Ascot earlier this year.
Another horse that will take winning form into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate is imported galloper Gailo Chop.
Gailo Chop improved each time that he has been seen at the races during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival and he earnt a place in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate field with a tough front-running victory in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Three-year-olds have an excellent record in the Cox Plate and it is Royal Symphony that will fly the flag for the younger horses in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship this weekend.
Royal Symphony started his racing career with four straight victories and he found the line nicely when fourth in both the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
The 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field is rounded out by Happy Clapper, who finished a gallant second behind Winx in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick earlier in the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival.
Happy Clapper claimed a maiden Group 1 victory in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on AFL Grand Final Day, but he was beaten by Classic Uniform in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at his last start in the lead-up to the Cox Plate.
Winx is currently available at 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate odds of $1.16 and is a dominant favourite from Folkswood ($17), Gailo Chop ($17), Happy Clapper ($17), Royal Symphony ($21) and Humidor ($26).