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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!