The acceptances for the best two minutes on the sporting calendar, The W.S. Cox Plate, has been decimated. The ultimate respect for the best race horse in the world, our girl, Winx, is a small field. Phar Lap did, Black Caviar did it, and now Winx’s is following in their path. Winx’s nomination into a race has the ability to scare off the best handicapper’s and weight for age horses from Group 1 and multimillion dollar events. To me that trust and respect is on par with the big crowds that flock to watch her, the large amount of money placed on her by battlers, and the little children dressed up in Winx jockey silks. To only have 7 opponents in the Weight for Age Championship of Australasia is remarkable. A 4 peat beckons and the Queen will join the greats of the turf. I have been lucky enough to see some of the all-time greats despite only being 36 years young. I saw Doriemus and Might and Power battle out a cup, I have seen Sunline destroy fields carrying weight against the boys, I have seen The Queen pat Black Caviar after her resilient Royal Ascot win, and I saw the Diva bring a nation together. Winx will win on Saturday, see will continue to win, and she will break more records before she is retired. My selections are below for Cox Plate weekend but my biggest tip is to get trackside to see her live in the flesh before she retires. Once they lose the zest to race or they are producing their own family it’s too late. Caviar, Makybe, and Winx era has happened over a small period of 15 years, we may wait another 100 to witness what these three have achieved between them. Don’t Winx or your will miss her. Happy punting!
Race 1: Not much to go off here, I will stick with race form not trial form or whispers, Biscara was as green as grass on debut at Caulfield, found trouble but still hit the line nicely. Not sure where she will be from barrier 1, tricky spot for a backmarker but she may get her chance on turning. I won’t be betting, but If I had to I would be with her, something small the place.
Race 2: The old dash for cash over the 955m. They will go faster than a beer at an open bar. Tricky event and this is reflective in the market. Happy to stick with Guard Of Honour at the $6. It has form around Spending To Win who beat subsequent winner Eduardo, Damien Oliver, barrier 5, good each way value. 59kg won’t worry him and he is due for some luck in running.
Race 3: Two things that should have won at Flemington the other week (or gone closer) won at Caulfield on Saturday. Rainer and Verry Ellegant didn’t see daylight at headquarters nor did Savatiano. 1600m is ideal, barrier 4 will allow Kerrin Mcevoy options, and she only needs daylight to savage the line. She will make up for the blazer stakes. Chips In
Race 4: Assertive Play has been frustrating to follow. She won her first two career starts in Adelaide before being luckless at this track. She has missed the start, blocked, checked, pulled up with abnormalities, you name it she has done it. Off a slow speed last start she nearly broke 11 seconds for the final furlong. Her racing pattern always needs luck, if she has any good luck she will be in the finish. $5 is about the right price.
Race 5: How good is the ultimate gear change? Sunset Watch flew and won after he lost his manhood at the valley over 1200m. Good draw, has a good strike rate second up, can go on with it. $4 is short enough but I will be having something on.
Race 6: Big fan of a forgive run. Got lost at Caulfield and didn’t handle the firm track. I will stick to her Group 1 form prior and her first up run behind Sweet Melody. El Dorado Dreaming will be competitive in either the Wakeful and or Oaks after she wins on Saturday. Take the $5.
Race 7: Siege Of Quebec was enormous in the Toorak, he was enormous in The Epsom, he spouted wings when he beat Pierata who came out and ran a faster time over 1200m then Redzel on Everest Day. Weight for age maybe a query but I think this is his .
Race 8: A very open affair. Several B and C grade stayers in this. Probably the hardest one to pick. Going with the Darren Weir and Craig William combination in Red Cardinal. Didn’t handle the track in The Naturalism at Randwick but still looked the winner before fading for 3rd. Should get a gun run from barrier 3 and will run out a strong 2500m out. Doesn’t win out of turn but I will be having something on at $10.
Race 9: A lot has been talked about this race. Will she or won’t she win? From a punting and financial perspective go and get a corporate bonus match for say $200, put the $200 you need to turn over on Winx at $1.25 and collect $250 and put the $200 free bet that didn’t cost you a cent on Benbatl in case the unthinkable happens. She is a great horse but there are doubts over who she has beaten, Whoshotthebarman, Hartnell, Leromain, no disrespect but none of them would get within 20 lengths of Frankel, Black Caviar, Makybe Diva or So You Think. She has beaten Australia’s best middle distance and staying horses who are inferior to the rest of the world. She didn’t go overseas and take on the best and this may come against how her records stands in time in my opinion. She has been Dustin Martin hiding in the VFL instead of playing against the best in the AFL.
Benbatl needed the run first up in The Group 1 Caulfield Stakes but he was too strong for Blair House in fast time. They gapped Humidor by nearly 4 length who ran within a half of a length to Winx in last year’s feature, and they comfortably beat the time set by Winx in The Turnbull where she beat Youngstar and Kings Will Dream who both flopped in The Caulfield Cup. The bigger the field the bigger the certainty, the small field on Saturday this is the biggest danger for Winx. If Hugh Bowman rides her too far out of her ground, she hits a flat spot like she did against Le Romain in Sydney or Youngstar in The Turnbull she can’t physically win. She ran 10.27 to catch them in the shadows. She won’t have the luxury of the long Flemington straight on Saturday nor will her opposition slow down making this possible. If Winx box seats she will win with a leg in the air. The best ride in the race will win, and if Benbatl is left alone in front how can Winx continue to nearly break 10 seconds furlong after furlong against her most worthy opponent? Tactics will decide this feature!!! Sit back and watch history!
Suggestion: Trifecta – Winx, Benbatl/Winx, Benbatl/Field
Race 10: I declared last week that Verry Elleegant would win at Caulfield then go on to win the oaks and I am standing by this. She would have only improved from that run, she over raced and carried on like a pork chop, but was still too good. Should get a gun run from barrier 5 and she will be in the finish. Back her to win Saturday and back her to win the oaks.
Chase The Sun
Tony James Edser