Equine superstar Winx leads an outstanding list of seventy-nine horses still in contention for this year’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28th.
The country’s best racehorse for more than two years, Winx is amidst an incredible run of form which has delivered nineteen-consecutive wins and spanning back to her dominant win in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) in May, 2015.
A comfortable winner of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate in her first attempt at 2015, the Street Cry mare capped her unbeaten 2016 campaign with arguably her most dominant and impressive performance to date when successfully defending her crown in the weight-for-age classic in late October.
Winx has so-far won both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) in the final strides of each race this time in, but remains a resounding and odds-on favourite in early 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting markets.
Nine internationally-trained horses remain in contention following the completion of 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate first acceptances, however Japanese sensational Neorealism and outstanding middle-distance runner Highland Reel are the notable omissions.
Neorealism was touted as a leading Ladbrokes Cox Plate contender earlier this year, when he resumed for a smart win in the Group 2 Nakayama Kinen (1800m), before flying home to win the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse on April 30th.
The Neo Universe entire was unable to take his place in the Group 2 Sapporo Kinen (2000m) field last month as a result of niggling injuries and connections have subsequently elected to bypass the Melbourne Spring Carnival and Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
The third placegetter behind Winx and Criterion in the 2015 Cox Plate, Highland Reel failed to beat a runner home in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m) in March this year, but resumed in June for consecutive wins in the Group 1 Coronation Cup (2423m) and Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m).
Last seen finishing a credible fourth in the Group 1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2405m) on July 29th, the Galileo entire’s class alone surely would have counted for plenty in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate field and he previously loomed as one of Winx’s biggest dangers.
Kaspersky and Riven Light are two international horses that have been confirmed in 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate first acceptances.
Kaspersky began his racing career in Italy and won some of the country’s biggest races; five of which at black type level.
Transferred to the care of British-based Aussie Expat Jane Chapple-Hyam at the conclusion of his 2016 campaign, the Footstepsinthesand entire has posted a number of impressive results this year, including a credible fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1609m) with Michelle Payne in the saddle on June 20th.
Riven Light has produced a number of outstanding performances and results during a busy 2017 campaign and appears as though he will relish the conditions of the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
The Raven’s Pass gelding beat a strong field to the line in the Colm Quinn Mile Handicap (1721m) on August 1st and while only managing fifth in the Ahonoora Handicap (1408m) on August 6th, responded with a smart win in the Meadowview Stables Race (1810m) on August 31st.
Trainer James Cummings has kept the door open for Hartnell to have another crack at beating Winx after confirming his stable star in Ladbrokes Cox Plate first acceptances, while the likes of Tosen Stardom, Egg Tart and Humidor have all been included in a strong contingent of locally-trained horses still in contention.
Winx is the currently $1.50 favourite in early 2017 Cox Plate betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.