2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day Preview
Race 1 - 12:10pm
Listed Inglis Banner (1000m)
This is a tough way to start the day for punters as the majority of these horses have not been seen at the races. On exposed form Mildred does have an edge over the rest of this field. He has led from start to finish to win both the Darley Spring Preview and the Maribyrnong Trial and he looks like the ideal horse for The Valley. Jordan Childs can take him straight to the front in the early stages and he will prove tough to run down.
1 Unit Mildred
Race 2 - 12:40pm
Bendigo Bank Handicap (955m)
There are only seven horses in this field, but it is still an interesting betting affair. Esperance is the class horse in this field. He is capable of producing a high-rating effort on his day and his two barrier trials ahead of his return to the races have been strong. If he brings anything like his best form to the races, he is the horse to beat.
2 Units Esperance
Race 3 - 1:15pm
Group 2 Aquis Farm Fillies Classic (1600m)
Asiago has recorded three wins from as many race starts and she is a filly with plenty of upside. She has improved each time that she has been seen at the races this campaign and she showed a lovely turn-of-foot in the concluding stages of her last start victory at Kembla Grange. The step-up to 1600 metres looks as though it will be ideal for her and she maps to get a lovely run in transit with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
1.5 Units Asiago
Race 4 - 1:50pm
Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m)
Villami is yet to record a race win this campaign, but you simply can’t knock her form. She chased home Libertini in both the Silver Shadow Stakes and the Furious Stakes before she finished a close third behind Loving Gaby and Exhilarates in the Scarborough Stakes. There are no fillies of that quality in this field. The wide barrier draw means that she will need a touch of luck in running, but she is still the class filly in this field.
3 Units Villami
Race 5 - 2:25pm
Group 3 1300 Australia Stakes (1200m)
Condo’s Express looks very well-placed in the 1300 Australia Stakes. He could hardly have been more impressive when he won the McKenzie Stakes and he was not disgraced when he finished fourth behind Anaheed, Li’l Kontra and Brooklyn Hustle in the Blue Sapphire. This does look like a genuine drop in quality and he clearly loves The Valley.
The danger is Dirty Work. He is yet to record a race win, but he comes out of some strong races in Sydney like the Heritage Stakes and the Roman Consul Stakes. This is a drop in quality and I don’t want to lose on this race if he wins.
2 Units Condo’s Express
1 Unit Dirty Work
Race 6 - 3:00pm
Group 2 Drummond Golf Vase (2040m)
Soul Patch does look very well-placed in the Drummond Golf Vase. He recorded an impressive victory at Flemington a couple of starts ago and he ran some of the fastest closing sectionals in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas. The step-up to 2040 metres does look ideal for him and this is a genuine drop in class. I think that he will go into the Victoria Derby as a genuine winning chance.
2 Units Soul Patch
Race 7 - 3:35pm
Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m)
This is an excellent edition of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and there are a host of winning chances. Both Humidor and Mr Quickie do look well-placed, but the value does lie with Hunting Horn. He doesn’t win out of turn, but he has form around some of the best horses in the world and he looks like an ideal horse for The Valley. His recent form includes fourth place finishes in the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot as well as a fifth place finish behind Enable in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Ryan Moore will take him straight to the front in the early stages of this race and he will give his rivals something to chase.
1 Unit Hunting Horn
Race 8 - 4:10pm
Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m)
Dreamforce failed to fire in the Epsom Handicap, but he did have a torrid run in transit and I am more than happy to forgive him for that performance. His form before that had been excellent. He beat Ladbrokes Cox Plate contender Te Akau Shark to win the Tramway Stakes and he finished second behind Avilius in the George Main Stakes. Nash Rawiller will be able to settler him in a lovely position in the early stages of this contest and he has an excellent chance to return to winning form.
2 Units Dreamforce
Race 9 - 5:00pm
Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m)
This is the most open edition of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate since Winx won the race for the first time back in 2015. It will be a horror result for Ladbrokes, we will pay out a $2 million international bonus, but Japanese galloper Lys Gracieux is clearly the horse to beat and she still offers great value at her current quote. Her form in both Hong Kong and Japan is of a genuine elite standard. She was unlucky not to win the Hong Kong Vase at the end of last year and she wasn’t beaten far in both The Kinko Sho and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong. The scary thing for her rivals is that she comes into the Cox Plate on the back of a career best performance in The Takarazuka Kinen. That win was truly electric and a repeat of that effort would make her extremely tough to beat. The wide barrier draw isn’t an issue as she does have the ability to sit outside the lead on a strong tempo and still finish strongly.
Magic Wand has only recorded two wins from her 19 race starts, but she is the value runner in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. She has finished second at Group 1 level on two occasions this campaign and her second place finish behind Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes was particularly impressive. Magical went on to finish fifth in the Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe and he won the British Champion Stakes at Ascot. She makes her own luck right on the speed, Ryan Moore is in the saddle and Aidan O’Brien is the master. $14 is well and truly over the odds.
3 Units Lys Gracieux
1 Unit Magic Wand
Race 10 - 5:45pm
Group 3 Powerflo Solutions Stakes (1600m)
This is a tough way to finish the day for punters and there are a host of winning chances. Music Bay has been ticking along nicely this campaign and this might be the race for her. She was able to tough it out to the finish in the Paris Lane Stakes at Flemington last start and she looks as though she is crying out for 1600 metres. She can go forward from the awkward barrier draw and she is right in this race at $6.
1 Unit Music Bay