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State of Play: Cox Plate (October 12)

October 12, 2012

http://www.justhorseracing.com.au/news/australian-racing/state-of-play-cox-plate-october-12/167039

This year marks 90 years since the first Cox Plate was won by Violoncello.

Over the years, the race has stamped itself as the weight for age championship of Australia, despite being run at the unique Moonee Valley racecourse.

The tight turns and the short straight have proven the nemesis for some of Australia’s best horses.

Nevertheless, the honour roll still reads as a who’s who of Australian racing: Manfred, Amounis, Phar Lap, Ajax, Beau Vite, Tranquil Star, Flight, Hydrogen, Rising Fast, Tulloch, Tobin Bronze, Gunsynd, Surround, Kingston Town, Strawberry Road, Bonecrusher, Better Loosen Up, Super Impose, Octagonal, Saintly, Might And Power, Sunline, Northerly, Makybe Diva and So You Think all won the Cox Plate.

Unlike the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, there is no clear order of entry so it is always more difficult to figure out who will make the final cut.

Most years, there will be 14 or less acceptors so no culling is required. That looks like being the case this year.

This year, 24 horses remain in the Cox Plate. They are:

Afsare
All Too Hard
Americain
Epaulette
Ethiopia
Glass Harmonium
Glencadam Gold
Green Moon
Happy Trails
Linton
Manighar
Midas Touch
More Joyous
Mourayan
Ocean Park
Pierro
Proisir
Rangirangdoo
Rekindled Interest
Seville
Shahwardi
Shoot Out
Sincero
Southern Speed

Some of these horses can already be ruled out. Manighar has been ruled out due to injury, while Seville is out with a virus. Americain and Shahwardi are heading elsewhere, as is Linton.

Others are unlikely. Shoot Out is likely to be kept for the Mackinnon Stakes, as is Mourayan. Rangirangdoo will head to the Crystal Mile on the same day as the Cox Plate.

Afsare is under an injury cloud, but should be fine to run in the Cox Plate.

A lot may depend on this weekend, with All Too Hard, Epaulette and Pierro running in the Caulfield Guineas, Glass Harmonium and More Joyous running in the Toorak Handicap and Midas Touch, Ocean Park and Sincero running in the Caulfield Stakes.

Of those listed above, Americain, Glencadam Gold and Southern Speed will run in the Caulfield Cup. Midas Touch may also join them, depending how he runs this week.

Americain is highly unlikely to run in the Cox Plate. If he misses the Caulfield Cup, the Moonee Valley Cup is the likely alternative target.

Southern Speed is also unlikely to back up, although she can’t be ruled out entirely.

Gai Waterhouse has said today that Glencadam Gold may back up, which would give her a potential four runners with More Joyous, Pierro and Proisir likely runners.

A guess at a likely field, which has a capacity field of 14, yields the following:

Afsare
Ethiopia
Glass Harmonium
Glencadam Gold (depending on the Caulfield Cup)
Green Moon
Happy Trails
More Joyous
Ocean Park
Pierro
Proisir
Rekindled Interest
Sincero

This is likely to change between now and then, however it is a guide as to the possible makeup of our great race.

While it doesn’t look as strong as many years, the inclusion of the three year olds – especially boom three year old Pierro – makes for an intriguing contest.

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