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Melbourne Cup favourite Avilius has been included in the third acceptances for the 2018 Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.

Avilius, above, is among the third acceptances for the 2018 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Avilius, above, is among the third acceptances for the 2018 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Twenty-five horses remain in contention for the Cox Plate which also includes the Chris Waller trained Winx who is chasing her fourth consecutive win in the Weight For Age Championship.

Avilius gained automatic entry into the 2018 Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 after winning the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 6 and will now carry 54.5kg after receiving a 1.5kg penalty.

Trainer James Cummings has elected to miss the more traditional Melbourne Cup lead up of running in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and will use the Cox Plate as the import’s last run before lining up in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ on the first Tuesday in November.

“He now has his first victory over a staying distance and under a lot of pressure he was able to prove he could still perform and show that turn of foot despite a genuine and tough pace throughout,” Cummings said.

“We can now give the horse three weeks to the Cox Plate and if we’re lucky enough to gain a start in that race, then he’ll be perfect for the Melbourne Cup.

“We feel that the best progression for Avilius is to head to the Cox Plate and we won’t be accepting in the Caulfield Cup.”

Avilius is undefeated from four starts for Cummings since arriving from Europe at the end of 2017 and has been posted as the $10 favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup and is marked at $21 for the Cox Plate while Winx is a very dominant $1.20 favourite to make it four Cox Plate wins on the trot.

The third acceptances for the Cox Plate still has a great international flavour with several European horses still in contention and include the Aidan O’Brien trained My Cliffs Of Moher and Rostropovich plus the Godolphin trio of Benbatl, Blair House and Emotionless.

Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir still has six horses remaining among the Cox Plate third acceptances, Danon Liberty, Humidor, Kings Will Dream, Mr Garcia, Night’s Watch and Plein Ciel.

Early betting for the 2018 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.20 Winx, $13 Humidor, $18 Benbatl, $21 Avilius, D’Argento, $26 The Autumn Sun, Unforgotten, $34 Kings Will Dream, $41 Blair House, Homesman, $61 Cliffs Of Moher, El Dorado Dreaming, Emotionless, Night’s Watch, $71 Savvy Coup, $101 Harlem, Rostropovich, The Taj Mahal, Thinkin’ Big, $201 Arbeitsam, Danon Liberty, Mr Garcia, Plein Ciel, Siege Of Quebec, Trap For Fools.

Third acceptances for the 2018 Cox Plate

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Weight
1 05138×4646 ARBEITSAM G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 59kg
2 x3326x1111 AVILIUS (GB) G 5 James Cummings 59kg
3 x1121x015x BENBATL (GB) H 5 Saeed Bin Suroor 59kg
4 00x22110x4 BLAIR HOUSE (IRE) G 6 Charlie Appleby 59kg
5 533x98x065 DANON LIBERTY (JPN) H 7 Darren Weir 59kg
6 7x623x2x1x EMOTIONLESS (IRE) H 6 Charlie Appleby 59kg
7 x28167x006 HARLEM (GB) G 7 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 59kg
8 2153x16x21 HOMESMAN (USA) G 5 Liam Howley 59kg
9 x4184x8173 HUMIDOR (NZ) G 6 Darren Weir 59kg
10 11111×4323 KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) G 5 Darren Weir 59kg
11 57x15x8251 MR GARCIA (GB) G 6 Darren Weir 59kg
12 78x512433x MY CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE) H 5 Aidan O’Brien 59kg
13 12141×2131 NIGHT’S WATCH (NZ) G 5 Darren Weir 59kg
14 11x31x3103 PLEIN CIEL (GER) G 6 Darren Weir 59kg
15 5041x8x791 THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE) H 5 Liam Howley 59kg
16 16×6321175 TRAP FOR FOOLS G 5 Jarrod McLean 59kg
17 x13714x322 D’ARGENTO H 4 Chris Waller 57.5kg
18 x1295x2717 SIEGE OF QUEBEC H 4 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 57.5kg
19 11x111x111 WINX M 7 Chris Waller 57kg
20 13×4192251 ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) H 4 Aidan O’Brien 56kg
21 133115×521 SAVVY COUP (NZ) M 4 Michael & Matthew Pitman 55.5kg
22 1x0121x613 UNFORGOTTEN M 4 Chris Waller 55.5kg
23 111×31 THE AUTUMN SUN C 3 Chris Waller 49.5kg
24 13113 THINKIN’ BIG C 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 49.5kg
25 3x4213x3 EL DORADO DREAMING F 3 Kris Lees 47.5kg

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.