Moonee Valley Racecourse hosts the prestigious Group 1 Cox Plate on Saturday, October 27th with an impressive $5 million in prize money up for grabs. The race holds an important place in racing history and is named in honour of W.S. Cox, the racing club’s founder and has been held annually at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne since 1922.
With a field of eight runners set to go to post, the Cox Plate contest is run over one mile, two furlongs and forty four yards and the race is open to horses three years and older.
The mere mention of the Cox Plate and the name on every racing fans tongue is Winx. The seven-year-old superstar, trained in Australia by Chris Waller, took the 2015, 2016 and 2017 title in the Cox Plate, each time partnered by jockey Hugh Bowman, who will take the ride again this weekend.
The daughter of Street Cry, holds the extremely impressive form of twenty eight consecutive stakes race wins to her name, including twenty one Group 1’s. In 2016 Winx became both the world’s top-ranked filly or mare and the world’s top-ranked turf horse. She has retained this ranking in 2017 and so far in 2018. A national treasure in Australia, Winx has earned almost $14 million since her debut in 2014. Can she make it a fourth successive win in this prestigious race?
However, the once-in-a-generation Aussie superstar may be the name everyone is expecting to storm into the winners circle, Britain-based trainer Saeed Bin Suroor believes he may have the colt to topple the wonder horse Winx.
Saeed Bin Suroor, Godolphin’s longest-serving trainer, aims to end Winx’s 28-race unbeaten run with the electric Benbatl in Saturday’s $5 million Cox Plate challenge. The son of Dubawi is set to be partnered by Irish man Oisin Murphy. It has been noted from past performances the four-year-old goes well at this trip and could be a real threat to the favourite.
Darren Weir-trained Humidor is set to be ridden by Damian Lane and will be one for punters to watch in the betting market at each way. The six-year-old was second to Winx in this race last year and is currently the top Australian performer running on distances of between seven furlongs and one mile and two furlongs.
Aidan O’Brien-trained Rostropovich is among entries and is set to be ridden by current stable jockey Ryan Moore. The three-year-old won on his last outing at Leopardstown last month and although he may be out of his depth in terms of more experienced horses and Group level, he will be one to keep an eye on.