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The official 2021 Cox Plate barrier draw is out and there will be 10 horses contesting the 101st running of Australia’s weight-for-age classic on Saturday afternoon. While this is a smaller field than the past few years, with 14 horses contesting the Cox Plate in 2020 and 2019, eight horses have won at Group One level before with the other two winning at Group Two level.
Zaaki (barrier 6) has been the futures favourite for quite some time now and the barrier draw has done him plenty of favours. Not only will he be reunited with James McDonald, who is currently completing six-days of quarantine after a successful The Everest day in Sydney on Saturday, but he has drawn to get a perfect run from the middle of the pack.
Bossy definitely knows what it takes to win a Cox Plate on a three-year-old!
Remember So You Think in 2009? pic.twitter.com/n39R5gXZru
— SENTrack (@SEN_track) October 19, 2021
While he has drawn favourably, Caulfield Guineas winner Anamoe (10) has drawn wide again. He jumped from barrier 13 of 15 two Saturdays ago and now has the widest barrier to overcome this weekend. That will mean that Craig Williams, who just went 0/20 over the three days of the Caulfield Cup Carnival, has a bit of work to do on the second favourite, who saw his odds drift from $3.80 to $4.20 following the draw.
Captivant (1), who finished just half a length off Anamoe in the Caulfield Guineas, has drawn at the other end of the field and will get plenty of cover from the inside draw. Gold Trip (2) has drawn just outside of Captivant and is one of three international horses in the race, despite being now classed as a local under the care of the Maher & Eustace camp. His 10 career races have all been exclusively in France with a Group Two win over 2200m and a Group One second over 2100m, finishing ahead of Mogul, his best career performances to date.
State Of Rest (8) is the other Europe-raider in the race, coming from the exceptional stable of Joseph O’Brien. The four-year-old colt comes into the Cox Plate on the back of winning the Group One Saratoga Derby in August. Callsign Mav (5) is the final international horse in the race and comes across the ditch from New Zealand, winning back to back Group Ones in his lead-up preparation.
Dual Group 1 winning stablemates 😎
— Cox Plate Carnival (@CoxPlate) October 18, 2021
Dalasan (3) and Mo’unga (4) are the other two boys in the race, both coming into the Cox Plate on the back of the Epsom Handicap on October 2nd. Dalasan, who is the outsider of the race with $61 odds, had an eye-catching third in that race while Mo’unga, priced at $19, carried top weight to finish seventh.
That leaves us with the two mares, Verry Elleegant (9) and Probabeel (7). We last saw Verry Elleegant put in a flat performance in the Turnbull Stakes however she has been putting in some good track work around the Moonee Valley track, Damian Lane is happy with how she is going and her odds have come into $6.50. Probabeel on the other hand had an exceptional last start, beating Zaaki home to win the Group One Might And Power two weeks ago and has the services of in-form jockey, Brett Prebble, yet again.
While the big race is set for Saturday afternoon, Moonee Valley is hosting Group One racing on Friday night with the Manikato Stakes. There are 13 horses contesting the 1200m $1M race, with none of The Everest runners backing up for the race. Savatoxl (8) is currently the $4.60 favourite for the race while Ingratiating (7) is one of three three-year-olds in the race and is on the next line of betting at $5.
*Odds correct at the time of writing, courtesy of Sportsbet.