History could be repeated at Moonee Valley on Saturday as champion mare Winx goes for three consecutive victories, tying the record of Kingston Town.
The Chris Waller-trained mare is the overwhelming favourite to win at odds of $1.15 and it could take a brave punter to bet against her, but there are other ways to finding value for the Cox Plate.
Sportsbet is offering a “Winx Out” market which is wide open and those are the odds which will we will be featuring. We can’t see Winx getting beaten against this field, so why not select a horse to finish second and get great value odds?
Be sure to shop around for the best odds this weekend and we recommend checking out new bookmaker Neds.
Our best bets for the Cox Plate 2018
Royal Symphony @ $4 (Winx Out) – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Gailo Chop @ $21 – BET NOW
Humidor @ $21 – BET NOW
2018 Cox Plate Form Guide & Tips
Happy Clapper ($26) – BET NOW
Happy Clapper hasn’t done much wrong this season, which has included two wins and two second placings.
The Patrick Webster-trained gelding scored his first group one win of his career in the Epsom Handicap, but he failed to back that up with a win in the Craven Plate as a $1.50 chance.
Most of the blame was put on jockey Blake Shinn, but he will need to lift his game if he’s going to beat Winx around The Valley.
His lack of experience on this track could hurt his chances, but the $2.50 to finish in the top three is worth considering.
Gailo Chop (Best Each Way – $21) – BET NOW
Gailo Chop doesn’t have the flat-out speed of some of these, but he’s a real grinder which could take some beating.
The imported seven-year-old comes into this with a win in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes under his belt and the form out of that race has stood up well.
The Darren Weir-trained son of Deportivo defeated Johannes Vermeer by a neck in the Caulfield Stakes and it has subsequently run third in the Caulfield Cup – an unlucky one at that.
Staying at the same distance is going to help his chances and although he doesn’t possess much of a turn-of-foot, if he’s got a few lengths on Winx heading into the turn, he could at least run a dominant second placing.
Humidor (Best Roughie – $21) – BET NOW
Humidor has fallen out of favour with punters following his last two starts, but stick with the five-year-old as he’s quality on his day.
Another Weir-trained runner, the former New Zealander won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes with something in hand and he made Hartnell look second rate, but the form has tapered off since.
His racing manners have come into question after he hung throughout in the Turnbull Stakes where he finished 7.25 lengths behind Winx and again in the Caulfield Cup where he finished fifth.
He still manages to beat the majority of the field home despite hanging and if he can fix up that issue, he’ll be a real force for each way players on Saturday.
Kaspersky ($101) – BET NOW
This appears to be throw of the dice from the connections of Kaspersky, but you can’t take risks with international form.
The seven-year-old is a winner of 12 from 26 starts and based on that record he demands respect, but his recent form isn’t anything to be excited about.
He finished 16th in the Toorak behind Tosen Stardom and most of his form in Europe came over the mile against inferior opposition.
He did run fifth behind Ribchester in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot which is a fair form guide, but he looks outclassed here and the only money for him will be from the Michelle Payne supporters.
Folkswood ($21) – BET NOW
Folkswood looks a solid each way chance based off his first run in Australia.
The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old won the Cranbourne Cup by 2.75 lengths and although the Cranbourne Cup isn’t the best form guide, it was still a dominant display.
This stable has to be respected after all the success it has had in Australia over the last two seasons and this consistent son of Exceed And Excel should have every chance to shine.
He finished second behind Decorated Knight in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan in Dubai and that international form is better than most of his rivals here.
The Cox Plate can often be regarded as a 1600m race, given the shape of the track, and he’s more adaptable to the staying distances, but don’t discount his place chances.
Seaburge ($101) – BET NOW
We’re not entirely sure why Seaburge is in the Cox Plate, but we’re guessing it’s because he ran well enough in the Toorak Handicap last start.
The Lindsay Park-trained four-year-old looked the goods as a younger horse, but he’s won only two from 16 starts and his form this year has been dreadful.
He finished last in the Rosehill Guineas, Memsie Stakes and Makyve Diva Stakes before his run last time out at Caulfield.
He will get every chance from the inside draw, but the odds of $101 are spot on and he won’t be going close here.
Hardham ($151) – BET NOW
It didn’t look like Hardham would run in the Caulfield after running second to Wheal Leisure in the Inglis Cup, but it’s now trying the Caulfield Cup/Cox Plate double and we can only assume he will be pushing on to the Melbourne Cup.
The son of Redoute’s Choice looked good earlier this year when running third behind Jon Snow in the ATC Derby, but even that form hasn’t come up as well as expected this spring.
His only win this campaign came over Nozomi at Flemington and that’s simply not going to cut it.
We’d prefer to see Hardham over longer distances as he made good ground late in the Caulfield Cup.
Winx ($1.15) – BET NOW
Winx will win her third Cox Plate in a row and we’ll happily eat humble pie if she doesn’t.
She faces the easiest Cox Plate field since we can remember and it’s simply a matter of how far she wins by.
There isn’t much value in betting the $1.15, but Sportsbet has a wide range of exotic options surrounding the champion mare and there’s one we like in particular.
Winx to win by 6-8 lengths is paying $2.60 and we think she’ll match her winning margin of last year.
Punters should sit back and enjoy a champion thoroughbred at her favourite track.
Royal Symphony (Best Bet @ $4 w/o Winx) – BET NOW
Punters were lapping up Royal Symphony after he won his first three races, but after two consecutive defeats there is some caution in the market.
The Tony McEvoy-trained three-year-old finished fourth in both the Guineas Prelude and Caulfield Guineas, but rising up in distance to 2040m is going to suit him perfectly and we haven’t spoken about the weight.
Three-year-old runners have a great record in the Cox Plate because they get in with only 49.5kg. That makes Royal Symphony a legitimate winning chance as he possesses a slick turn-of-foot.
He’s clearly our best bet with the Winx Out option. He will settle near the rear of the field and come with a big run around the outside of runners to close off well.