The 2023 Ladbrokes Cox Plate is nearly upon us and what better way to kick off the weekend than with an eight race card at Moonee Valley the night before.
With the Group One Manikato Stakes now run on Saturday, our Cox Plate eve meeting will be headlined by the running of the $750k Group Two Ladbrokes Moonee Valley Gold Cup for the stayers.
The Group Three JRA Cup and the Listed Chautauqua Stakes will also be run and won, making for a very exciting night of racing.
The rail will be out 7m and the track is currently rated a soft 6.
Our Ladbrokes preview can be found below.
Race 1 - 6:15pm AEST
CHEF'S HAT HANDICAP 3YO BM70 (1000 METRES)
There was a lot to like about the debut performance of Revalene.
The Russian Revolution colt made his first raceday appearance over 1000m at Cranbourne and whilst he did finish second, the winner looks very smart and has since gone on to be narrowly beaten in a Two Year Old Plate at Caulfield on Guineas Day.
Prior to his debut, the youngster had performed well in jump outs and a trial and will have taken good natural improvement from his first raceday experience.
Blake Shinn will do the steering for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and can afford him every chance from gate two.
1 unit – REVALENE
Race 2 - 6:45pm AEST
WESTERN GENERAL BODYWORKS VOBIS GOLD STAR (1500 METRES)
Umgawa hasn’t won for a while but looks well placed to turn that around.
The ultra consistent son of Shamus Award is racing in top form, having been placed in four of his past five starts, which have all been at stakes level.
The five year old is yet to step out past 1400m this campaign but the way he’s been working to the line certainly suggests that’s what he’s looking for.
He’s hard fit and should find this slightly easier than what he’s been contesting.
Harry Coffey retains the ride for team Corstens and in the small field he’ll be right there ready to pounce.
1 unit – UMGAWA
Race 3 - 7:15pm AEST
SWEENEY ESTATE AGENTS COUNTRY CUP FINAL BM80 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
Kooled produced a solid effort to finish a close third in what has proven to be a good from race on the Lakeside back in August.
He was then given an eight week let up and trialled very nicely over 1000m behind Mr Brightside, where he sported the blinkers for the first time.
Following on from that, the son of Frosted stepped out over 1200m at Ballarat minus the blinkers and after a slow start he was caught deep and never looked to be travelling comfortably.
The blinkers go back on here and he’s drawn to get the right run.
He does have a good record over the 1200m and Billy Egan will take the mount for Ben Brisbourne.
1 unit – KOOLED
Race 4 - 7:45pm AEST
LADBROKES 55 SECOND CHALLENGE HEAT 3 (955 METRES)
Frilled remains unbeaten after four starts.
The talented mare was too speedy at her first appearance at the Valley, where after working hard early to cross and take up the lead, she found enough under the 60kgs to stave off the challenger with a big gap back to third.
She does rise in grade but drops to 56.5kgs and gets the advantage of the inside draw.
Damien Oliver retains the ride for Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith.
1 unit – FRILLED
Race 5 - 8:15pm AEST
SEPPELT WINES CHAUTAUQUA STAKES LISTED (1200 METRES)
She Dances comes off a solid second up win in the Group Three Northwood Plume Stakes.
Prepared by Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman, the Street Boss mare was posted deep when resuming over 1100m but took plenty of benefit from the run and relished getting out to the 1200m last time.
Boasting a stellar record over this trip, with five wins and a third from just the six starts, she stalked the leader last time and proved too strong over the final stages.
A winner at her only start here, which was a dominant win in the Vobis Gold Carat, she looks very well placed.
Linda Meech has been onboard for four six of her wins, she stays in the saddle and can afford her the gun run from gate two in the Chautauqua Stakes.
1 unit – SHE DANCES
Race 6 - 8:45pm AEST
SCHWEPPES JRA CUP HEAT GROUP 3 (2040 METRES)
Forgot You has put in a couple of very nice performances this campaign and strips fitter for the three runs back.
The entire looked to have the race in his keeping two starts back on the Hillside but was just collared over the final 50m.
Last time when contesting the Group One Might And Power Stakes he came off the bridle a long way from home but pulled up with IPH and as we’ve seen many times, horses can quickly bounce back from that.
He drops back in grade here and has a terrific record at the Valley, having won three of his four starts here and Blake Shinn goes back in the saddle.
1 unit – FORGOT YOU
Race 7 - 9:15pm AEST
LADBROKES MOONEE VALLEY GOLD CUP GROUP 2 (2500 METRES)
Vow And Declare comes here off a very encouraging performance in the Group One Might And Power Stakes Stakes behind Alligator Blood.
The 2019 Melbourne Cup winner continues to race well each preparation, proving age is just a number.
Prepared by Danny O’Brien, the eight year old always come to hand fairly quickly and the way he found the line last start certainly suggests he’ll relish the step to 2550m.
Billy Egan has been in the saddle for both starts this prep, he stays on and if he can slot in and find cover from the awkward draw he should be right there at the finish.
1 unit – VOW AND DECLARE
Race 8 - 9:45pm AEST
MSC SIGNS HANDICAP BM78 (1600 METRES)
Sirius Black is relishing his new found role as a front runner.
When taking up the lead two starts back he really powered to the line and fought hard to hold out the challengers.
Last start, when sent forward off an awkward draw he again kicked strongly as his rivals loomed despite the 62.5kgs impost.
The ghostly grey entire stays at the mile and it appears to be his pet trip with all three wins having been over this distance.
He does rise in grade but drops 4.5kgs on his most recent run and gets the advantage of the inside draw.
1 unit – SIRIUS BLACK