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2022 Cox Plate Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

Run over the famed 2040m at Moonee Valley, the Group 1 Cox Plate is Australia’s premier middle distance race. The prestigious weight-for-age contest continually brings together the best horses from Australia and abroad and has been won by some champion gallopers including; Phar Lap (1930-31), Kingston Town (1980-82), Makybe Diva (2005) and of course Winx, who took out the race four years in a row from 2015-18.

Last year’s Cox Plate was taken by Irish raider, State Of Rest, who just held off the late challenge of Anamoe and survived a lengthy protest in the stewards room. Anamoe is back again this year, hungry for redemption, and is currently $2.40 favourite with Dabble. Zaaki is on the next line of betting at $4.00 ahead of pint-sized import, El Bodegon, at $7.50.

These three runners are the only ones in single figures but we know anything can happen and a small margin separated most of them in the Caulfield Stakes. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Cox Plate along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Zaaki (1) – $4.00
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Rode the speed and fought on well last start in the Caulfield Stakes. Will hold the rail, perhaps leaders back, from the inside gate and be strong at the end of ten furlongs. Has proven time and time again he’s a top class horse and has to be respected here.

2. I’m Thunderstruck (10) – $13
Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Ridden closer last start up to the 2000m and was strong through the line. Will more than likely let the speed go from the wide gate and let the race unfold this time. Beat G1 winner, Tuvalu, at his only go here at the Valley and will be charging home if they overdo it up front.

3. Alligator Blood (12) – $14
Jockey – Tim Clark 59kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Pipped on the line in the Makybe Diva before an all the way win in the Underwood. Wasn’t far last start in the Caulfield Stakes at his first go 2000m. Will be sent like a shot out of a cannon from the outside gate here to lead, but will need a few soft sectionals mid race, which I don’t think he’ll get.

4. Mr Brightside (11) – $16
Jockey – Craig Williams 59kg
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

Raced a bit flat in the Underwood but was better last start in the Caulfield Stakes. Loves the Moonee Valley circuit and gets the winkers on for the first time. Looks ready to run a big race but has come up with a very tricky gate.

5. Mo’unga (9) – $31
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Hammered the line in the Underwood and although finished 8 of 8 last start, was again solid through the line. Should get the race run to suit, handles all conditions and looks a genuine winning chance at good odds.

6. Gold Trip (7) – $14
Jockey – Jamie Spencer 59kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

On the seven day back up after a gallant second in last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup. Hasn’t run a bad race since arriving in Australia and Irish hoop, Jamie Spencer, comes for the ride. Bit of an odd move dropping back to 2040m after a Caulfield Cup, but he gets the blinkers on for the first time and who’s to doubt the Maher/Eustace stable. Capable of running into the money yet again.

7. Laws Of Indices (3) – $34
Jockey – John Allen 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Finished a close up fourth in the Sir Rupert Clarke first up before an eye-catching run in the Toorak last start. Untried past the mile but should get a genuine enough tempo to relax and finish strongly, and is racing in career best form. Could sneak a place.

8. Young Werther (2) – $61
Jockey – Damian Lane 59kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Had a nice trail and finished well in the Turnbull last start behind Smokin’ Romans. This race is a lot tougher but he should land a good spot again from the low draw and be given every opportunity. If he can find a couple of lengths, he can win.

9. Maximal (5) – $51
Jockey – Ben Melham 59kg
Trainer – John O’Shea 

Finished a strong second in the Turnbull last start. Scratched from last week’s Caulfield Cup to be saved for this and connections will be praying for dry ground here. Should get a nice run from the middle gate and if that prayer comes true he is a genuine each-way chance.

10. Anamoe (4) – $2.40F
Jockey – James McDonald 57.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Came off the bridle on the turn and had to rally hard last start to win the Caulfield Stakes. Should be ready to fire third up here, in the race he was controversially beaten a whisker last year. Should enjoy a nice trail from the good draw and will be afforded every opportunity to go one better. The one to beat.

11. Profondo (6) – $81
Jockey – Chad Schofield 57.5kg
Trainer – Richard Litt

Gave him a big chance in the Turnbull, where he enjoyed a nice trail and was very one paced in the straight. Gets another change of rider for this and gets to Moonee Valley for the first time which should suit, but he needs to find on recent form and will be hoping for a semi-dry track.

12. El Bodegon (8) – $7.50
Jockey – Damien Oliver 56.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Import who finished third last start behind Melbourne Cup favourite, Deauville Legend. Will roll forward under champion hoop, D Oliver, and from all reports “loves a dog fight”. Although hard to line up the International form, he looks to have his fair share of ability and any rain will only enhance his winning chances.

Final Word

The Cox Plate, “the race where legends are made”. What a field we have lining up for this year’s 2040m feature. The early tempo looks good with speed from the likes of Zaaki, Alligator Blood and import, El Bodegon, and fingers crossed the rain stays away and the track races well.

Last year’s runner up and last start Caulfield Stakes winner, Anamoe, looks the obvious one here. His record over 2000m is excellent and he should enjoy a nice run in transit from the good draw.

With that said, going with some each way value, in Gold Trip. He’s yet to run a bad race in Australia and he gets the shades on for the first time here. Yes, he’s dropping back from 2400m and is on the seven day back up, but the Maher/Eustace stable wouldn’t have him here if he wasn’t ready to fire. He should enjoy a sweet run midfield and will be strong late. Suggest more units for the place, but do believe he can cause a boil over and win the race.

Zaaki will roll forward from the inside gate and be in it for a long way, as will El Bodegon. Makybe Diva Stakes winner, I’m Thunderstruck, can’t be left out of calculations and will be charging down the centre of the track late in the race, especially if the tempo up front is as strong as expected.

Cox Plate TipLogo

6. Gold Trip – Each-way ($14/$3.60)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

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2021 Cox Plate Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

Australia’s WFA classic, the Cox Plate, will take place this Saturday and we have analysed every aspect of the race. 10 runners will contest this year’s Cox Plate, which is often seen as one of the greatest races in the world. This year, there are eight Group One winners, with the two others have placed at Group One level and won at Group Two level, indicating the class throughout. 

As of early Thursday afternoon, Sportsbet has Zaaki as $2.80 favourite, with punters expecting him to bounce back from his poor showing last start in the Might And Power. He is followed by exciting Godolphin Colt, Anamoe ($4.40), and champion mare, Verry Elleegant ($5). The track is currently rated a Good4, but there is 6-10mm forecast for Friday and 4-8mm for Saturday. Given there is Friday night racing at the Valley for the Manikato Stakes meeting, this track could be worse for wear by 5:15pm on Saturday, when Race 9 (the 17th for the weekend) rolls around. 

However, we have taken all of this under consideration when analysing each aspect of the 101st running of the WFA Cox Plate. Read on to find our runner by runner preview of the 2021 Cox Plate and find The Shark’s best tip below!

1. Zaaki (SCR)

2. Dalasan (3) – $23
Jockey – Daniel Moor
Trainer – L Macdonald & A Gluyas

Dalasan may be an afterthought for some but he definitely shouldn’t be. Last preparation he ran third in a 1600m handicap race at Randwick (Doncaster Mile) third up before running in a WFA 2000m race (Queen Elizabeth Stakes) fourth up, finishing third, just 0.7L behind Addeybb and 0.2L behind Verry Elleegant. Now looking at this prep, last run, when third up, Dalasan came 3rd in the Epsom Handicap, a 1600m handicap race at Randwick, and now contests a WFA 2040m race and is priced at $61/$13…

3. Gold Trip (SCR)

4. Callsign Mav (5) – $34
Jockey – Luke Nolen
Trainer – John Bary

Callsign Mav comes into the race with the best form, winning back to back Group Ones in New Zealand. He is rising through the distances, winning at 1400m and 1600m, however he has only raced above 1600m once in his career, finishing 3rd in a Group Three in April. He will be forward and give himself every chance at the Valley but that form isn’t good enough here. 

5. Mo’unga (4) – $6.50
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Mo’unga is a very interesting runner. While some may be put off by his last start 5th in the Epsom Handicap, he carried 57kg there and still found the line strongly. His two runs before that saw him beat Verry Elleegant first up in the Winx Stakes before finishing just 0.3L off Incentivise in the Makybe Diva. That form obviously stacks up and barrier four should mean he has plenty of cover and can burst home in the finish. He has the turn of foot to win this, it is just whether he can find clean air travelling around the bend and entering the straight. 

6. Verry Elleegant (9) – $3.70
Jockey – Damian Lane
Trainer – Chris Waller

The champion mare and most credentialed runner in this race, Verry Elleegant finds herself as third favourite in the Cox Plate, the lowest she has been in the market in a race 2400m or less over the last two years. She clearly wasn’t at her best in the Turnbull, when finishing fourth behind Incentivise, but that track was firming up and she likes it wet. She will get that here, if the rain comes as forecast, however she will need to be back to her Caulfield Cup winning best to win this. 

7. Probabeel (7) – $9.50
Jockey – Brett Prebble
Trainer – Jamie Richards

Probabeel made headlines in her last start, winning the Might And Power, finishing ahead of Nonconformist and Zaaki. Nonconformist came out and ran second in a Caulfield Cup while Zaaki is just $2.80 for this race, but she is priced at $14 here? Brett Prebble is the most in-form jockey in the country, winning five of the 11 Group Ones in Victoria this season and Probabeel has proven she can compete at this level over 2000m, she will just be hoping that the rain holds off, as she is much more effective on top of the ground. 

8. State Of Rest (8) – $7
Jockey – John Allen
Trainer – Joseph O’Brien

Another interesting European-raider, State Of Rest comes into the Cox Plate on the back of a last start Group One win in the Saratoga Derby. Joseph O’Brien has sent this colt down to Australia specifically for this race and he must be impressed by State Of Rest’s incredible turn of foot, which was on display in that Derby win. He typically settles back in the field so the wide draw isn’t the worst thing in the world and he just needs to find a back to follow around the bend.

9. Anamoe (10) – $3.10
Jockey – Craig Williams
Trainer – James Cummings

The X-factor three-year-old colt that has been impressive in all of his career runs. He was able to overcome the wide draw in the Caulfield Guineas two weeks ago, winning by half a length there, following up from an impressive second in the Golden Rose and a win in the Run To The Rose first up. The big positive, like Captivant, is that he drops to 49.5kg for this race, after racing exclusively with 56kg or heavier prior to this. His ratings stack up as a three-year-old that will be able to make a splash in this race, but did he peak in the Caulfield Guineas?

10. Captivant (1) – $11
Jockey – Dean Yendall
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden

Captivant is a very interesting runner in this year’s Cox Plate. While he has just two wins from 10 career runs, and finished 2nd to Anamoe in that Caulfield Guineas, Captivant’s two best career runs have been at 1600m and his finish last start made it look like he is screaming for further. Based on their runs in the Caulfield Guineas, there shouldn’t be this big of a price difference between the two runners and he looks like a great exotics play. 

Final Word

You could genuinely make a case for all of these horses following the sratchings of two of the main chances. The 101st running of the Cox Plate looks to be a cracking one and we are siding with Verry Elleegant to bounce back to her best and win a 10th Group One. 

She did have a flat run last time out, in the Turnbull Stakes, but was still just a couple of lengths of Incentivise, which is an incredible form-line. Chris Waller has also stated that her condition is much better than the lead up for that race, her appetite is as good as it has ever been and she is back to the way she looked prior to her Caulfield Cup win last year. 
Sportsbet Cox Plate Day Promo

The rain has come in Melbourne and Moonee Valley is currently in a soft range, which means that Verry Elleegant will get conditions to suit. Given there are only eight horses left in the race, she looks like a great bet and a good possibility to load up, especially with both Sportsbet offering bonus back up to 5th. This promo means that you should go home with a winning bet or, at worst, a bonus bet to spend on the last race of the day or on Pikey in the feature at Ascot!

Best Cox Plate Tip: Verry Elleeant – Win ($3.70)

There is plenty more Group One racing happening this weekend! If you want to check out our Runner-By-Runner analysis for Friday night’s Manikato Stakes, click here! If you want a preview of the talented three-year-olds contesting the Bondi Stakes, click here! 

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Cox Plate page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet. (Updated on Saturday morning following the scratching of Zaaki.)


October 24: Cox Plate Day Review – The Shark Club Runs Riot!

It was a massive day of spring action, with the Cox Plate (2040m) headlining things at The Valley and the $1 million The Bondi (1600m) the feature in Sydney.

The Shark prides himself on performing on the big days, and he certainly did that, putting on an absolute clinic across the board, check out the results below!

The Shark Club Results:

Tiger Of Malay @ 18.00 ?✅
I Am Eloquent @ 21.00 ?✅
Eva’s Deel @ 13.00 ❌
Oceanex @ 13.00 ?✅
La Mexicana @ 5.00 ?✅
Occupy @ 43.00 ❌
Bella Nipotina @ 4.45 ?✅
Kings Will Dream @ 6.00 ?✅
Kolding @ 16.00 ❌
Rondinella @ 8.00 ?✅
Athiri @ 5.00 ?✅

Tiger Of Malay – $18

Early season two-year-old races can often be a bit of a raffle, but The Shark was confident with Tiger Of Malay, sending it out to The Shark Club at a massive $18, with it duly saluting with an impressive sustained sprint to the line!

I Am Eloquent – $21/$5

Sovereign Award was always going to be tough to beat, especially with the rails in run track pattern that developed throughout the day.

I Am Eloquent gave The Shark Club a sight at $21, but we’ll nonetheless scoop up the very generous $5 place price.

La Mexicana – $5

The pockets were already full but it’s always nice to finish with a bang, and La Mexicana provided us just that in the last, getting headed with about 50m remaining and fighting back strongly to win in the last, and give The Shark Club one final fill up!

It was a huge day at the office for The Shark, who is hitting vintage form at just the right time of the year!

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Friday & Saturday Cox Plate Carnival Guide: 6 Horses to Watch!

It’s a huge 24 hours at The Valley, hosting 18 races in a bumper Cox Plate Carnival, headlined by Friday night’s Group 1 2020 Manikato Stakes (1200m), and Saturday’s Group 1 2020 Cox Plate (2040m).

On such a huge weekend of sports and racing you don’t want to be over racing early, so we’ve picked out a few across Friday and Saturday to help keep the balance healthy over this true staying test!


Race 2 – Fillies & Mares Handicap – 2040m

Top weight West Wind ($2.90) looks the one to beat here, winning two in a row at Cranbourne on soft decks so won’t mind if the rain comes. Has drawn the inside gate so should be able to lead or boxseat.

A speculative play at odds is Feel The Rush ($61/$11) who finished second behind Kiwi star Jennifer Eccles in the NZ Oaks last preparation. Is second up here, up to a more suitable distance, and absolutely swims, and is worth a small each way play at the massive price if the rain comes.

Verdict: Backing West Wind at $2.90 and having an each way play on Feel The Rush ($61/$11) if the rain comes.

Watch: West Wind holding on to win at Cranbourne.

Race 4 – VOBIS Gold Star – 1500m

Dropping back in grade is So Si Bon ($2.45) who has been racing honestly up against the A-graders, third behind Fierce Impact and Russian Camelot a few starts ago. Finds the 1500m here, which I think, is a suitable distance, and won’t mind if the rain comes. Has had the better of major danger Iconoclasm ($3.10) when they’ve met in the past, and looks a good bet at the price.

Verdict: Backing So Si Bon at $2.45.

Watch: So Si Bon finish just behind Fierce Impact and Russian Camelot at Group 1 level.

Race 8 – Manikato Stakes – 1200m

Click here for a full runner-by-runner analysis with odds and tips for the Manikato Stakes!

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Race 4 – Fillies Classic – 1600m

Happy to take on the favourite Ecumenical ($2.70) who has drawn wide yet again this prep and faces a tough run at the skinny odds.

Thermosphere ($4) is bringing the superior Sydney form earlier in the prep and has already won at Group 2 level in Melbourne when taking out the Edward Manifold Stakes. Loves the wet so won’t mind the rain coming, and looks a good bet at the price.

Verdict: Backing Thermosphere at $4.

Watch: Thermosphere win the Edward Manifold two starts ago.

Race 5 – Tesio Stakes – 1600m

Favourite Sovereign Award ($3.70) has been in outstanding form this preparation and maps to get a perfect run just behind the speed with J Kah onboard. She can handle all conditions, and there isn’t much opposition here and it looks a nice price.

A chance at big odds is I Am Eloquent ($21) who deserves another chance with her talent, and will start a lot shorter if the predicted rain falls.

Verdict: Backing Sovereign Award at $3.70 and having a small play on I Am Eloquent at $21.

Watch: Sovereign Award take out the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase last start.

Race 9 – Cox Plate – 2040m

Click here for a full runner-by-runner analysis with odds and tips for the Cox Plate!


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2020 Cox Plate Runner By Runner Preview, Odds, & Tips

The stage is set for a cracking 100th edition of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), with yet another fight between local hopes and international raiders on the cards.

The track is currently rated a Good 4, but there is expected to be 8-15mm of rain on Friday, and a further 10-20mm expected on Saturday, which would drive the track well into the soft range.

The rail is in the true position, but with the Cox plate being the 17th race in a 24 hour period for the track, and the expected rain, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get away from the rail at this stage.

Let’s take a look at each and every runner in the 2020 Cox Plate.

1 – Kolding – $15 ?

Was in the wilderness after a shocker of an autumn, but has bounced back to form with two wins in a row this preparation. Looks to be travelling well, but I’ve got question marks about his ability to run out a strongly run 2000m, and his level of performance in Melbourne. Could sneak a place with everything going right.

2 – Humidor – $26  ?

Another that Waller has turned around, with a huge win in the Feehan Stakes and good performances in the Underwood Stakes and the Caulfield Stakes. Has drawn horribly and will have to go back, and will be giving them too much of a headstart. Place chances are best.

3 – Fierce Impact – $35

Similar to Kolding, this galloper is in good form but there are queries on his ability over 2000m, I think he is more of a miler. Has obviously beaten Russian Camelot this preparation and is very honest, but think he’s running into a few with more x factor in this one.

4 – Master Of Wine – $41

Sat outside the leader in the Caulfield Cup and had been targeted at that race from a long way out. Didn’t offer much in the closing stages and this looks like an afterthought, the price is about right.

5 – Mugatoo – $31 ?

He won’t mind if the rain comes and will appreciate the drop in trip to the 2000m. Has a good turn of foot and could be in with a knockout chance if he’s not spotting them too many lengths at the turn. Could be worth throwing in wider exotics.

6 – Aspetar – $18 ??

It’s always a bit of a challenge to line up the international form, but Aspetar is a proven Group level performer and does its best work at the 2000m. Handles all going and must be included in all exotics at the big price.

7 – Sir Dragonet – $14

A few question marks over Sir Dragonet, who hasn’t won for 76-weeks and is yet to to win over the 2000m. Will definitely be enjoying the rain if it comes, but may be better suited over longer, and doesn’t look to possess a massive turn of foot.

8 – Magic Wand – $27

Happy to be against Magic Wand here, who ran well in this race last year, but doesn’t look to be in the same sort of form this time around. Won’t enjoy the cut in the ground with the expected rain.

9 – Arcadia Queen – $5.50 ???

Ultra impressive when turning over Russian Camelot in the Caulfield Stakes and is a massive winning chance, as reflected by the market. The slow tempo in the Caulfield Stakes suited her and allowed her to sprint away, but there should be a faster tempo here, which will suit Russian Camelot. If the rain comes, there are question marks on her ability on a soft track. Goes in everything and wouldn’t surprise me if she won.

10 – Nettoyer – $101

The price says it all, has no chance.

11 – Russian Camelot – $5 ???

Was brought back down to earth last start when Arcadia Queen outsprinted him off a slow tempo. There should be a faster tempo here, which will suit his superior staying ability, but Russian Camelot and jockey Damien Oliver, are going to have to be at their very best with the wide draw. If the rain comes, I’ll be with him.

12 – Armory – $5.50 ???

Is bringing absolute A+ form out here, with a placing behind Magical and Ghaiyyath last start, two of the world’s best middle distance runners. Looks to have a monster turn of foot and if he’s close at the turn he will be a massive chance. Question marks on the soft going so connections will be hoping the rain isn’t bucketing down on the day, but is obviously right in this.

13 – Probabeel – $8.50 ???

In outstanding form after winning the Bill Ritchie Handicap and the Epsom Handicap, and is right in this with a nice draw. Has to prove herself at 2000m but will enjoy the soft ground, and is well weighted. Has had market support already in from $11, and is an outside chance behind the top three in the market.

14 – Grandslam – $26 ?

The wildcard three-year-old, who will go right to the front from the draw and will make his own luck. Carrying just 49.5kg and will be tough to run down if he keeps improving out of his Caulfield Guineas run. Hard to see him winning, but worth including in wider exotics.

15e – Buckhurst – $51 ?

The unlucky emergency, who certainly has a very fair case to be included in the final field over a few of these. Unlikely to gain a start, but would be worth throwing in exotics if he somehow did.

Tip: 11-12-13-9

? = Must Watch
? = Big Winning Chance
?= Worth Including in Exotics

*Odds accurate at time of posting article.

1Kolding (10)J: James Mcdonald 59kg T: C J Waller$13.00$4.00
2Humidor (14)J: Craig Williams 59kg T: C J Waller$21.00$5.50
3Fierce Impact (12)J: Luke Currie 59kg T: Matthew Smith$34.00$7.50
4Master Of Wine (1)J: Michael Rodd 59kg T: M, W & J Hawkes$34.00$7.50
5Mugatoo (9)J: John Allen 59kg T: K A Lees$26.00$6.00
6Aspetar (3)J: Damian Lane 59kg T: Roger Charlton$17.00$5.00
7Sir Dragonet (7)J: Glen Boss 59kg T: C Maher & D Eustace$13.00$4.00
8Magic Wand (4)J: Mark Zahra 57kg T: A O’brien$26.00$6.00
9Arcadia Queen (8)J: William Pike 57kg T: G & A Williams$5.50$2.15
10Nettoyer (13)J: Billy Egan 57kg T: Ms W Roche$81.00$18.00
11Russian Camelot (15)J: Damien Oliver 56.5kg T: D T O’brien$4.60$1.90
12Armory (6)J: Ben Melham 56.5kg T: A O’brien$5.50$2.15
13Probabeel (2)J: Kerrin Mcevoy 55.5kg T: J W Richards$8.00$2.80
14Grandslam (5)J: Jye Mcneil 49.5kg T: C Maher & D Eustace$21.00$5.50
15Buckhurst (11)J: Jamie Kah 59kg T: Joseph O’brien$51.00$10.00