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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.
— Caty Price (@caty_price) October 19, 2022
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.
Gold Trip has been backed $26 into $15 for Saturday’s Cox Plate 👀 pic.twitter.com/Xkqu6r1bvC
— TAB (@tabcomau) October 19, 2022
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.
— Racing.com (@Racing) October 19, 2022
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.
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 Tip
6. Gold Trip – Each-way ($14/$3.60)
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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.