Archive for October, 2013

Cox Plate 2013

Posted: October 25, 2013 by Beaner in Horse Racing
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The Cox Plate is one of the toughest Australian races over the 2000m distance hosted at Moonee Valley Racecourse. Only 1 of the last 7 favourites (So You Think 2010 at $1.50 – the shortest runner in this race in the last 45 years) has actually won the race which tells you that this is never a clear cut affair. Infact, 6 of the last 10 winners have gone around at $10 or higher. The race has been dominated the past three years by 4YO’s with Ocean Park, Pinker Pinker and So You Think taking out the last three (So You Think took this out at 3YO also). Interestingly, we have a 4YO favourite in It’s a Dundeel this year the other 4YO long odds in Super Cool.


Probably the most important factor for any race. Wednesday evening rated a Dead 5 after some fairly decent rains and the worst has come and gone. Expect a dead track Friday night and it could clear up to be Good with a bit of wind and sun on Saturday.


The most important tool for any race is understanding where each horse is expected to be during the run of the race and on previous data, determining how the race will be run by those out the front. This is one of the hardest speedmaps all carnival to figure out. Last year several horses positioned three-wide during the run and it is likely this will happen again. I wouldn’t be shocked to a see a few mapped closer to the back such as It’s a Dundeel go further forward, but it all depends on how they jump and what happens in the first 200m.

Click on the Speedmap photo below to see a higher resolution map.

Cox Plate Speedmaps Small

Cox Plate 2013

1. Green Moon 59kg (Barrier 12)
Never won with this weight previously and is better suited outside of WFA races. Could be used as a pace maker to give the other Williams runners a strong tempo early. Did run well enough first up over 1400m but hasn’t shown enough to be winning this. Best on Good going.
Verdict: Grand Final is the Melbourne Cup, not this. Shocked if he wins this.

2. Happy Trails 59k (Barrier 2)
Over the correct odds today. Goes well at the track and has been set for this distance all campaign. Last start ridden for luck got a very solid ride by Dunn to victory. Barrier 2 selected to ride for luck again and is actually better weighted today against Fiorente and PDL.
Verdict: Genuine chance who maps very well needing luck.

3. Fiorente 59kg (Barrier 15)
Has positioned out the back of the field in all runs this prep and overall last four runs in general. Did position closer than midfield in the Melbourne Cup though and ran on very well. Outside barrier certainly hurts for positioning. Has every chance but in all honesty, could be a better horse for the Melbourne Cup.
Verdict: Better suited to a longer straight and will have to pass a wall of horses going wide to get the win. Has the ability to win but is certainly shorter than I would want to take. May simply just be a saver option.

4. Foreteller 59kg (Barrier 9)
Late nomination who three runs back beat home Puissance De Lune at Flemington over 1600m by a nose. Last start breezed past Super Cool with no issues and finished 4L behind Atlantic Jewel. Most people were suggesting AJ at her best was a 3L better horse than all of these and on ratings it was close to that. That gives Foreteller a genuine chance for me.
Verdict: Only accepted after the rumour was going around about Atlantic Jewel being a non-runner. That was their first win. The horse has the ability to run well and go close. Big question if he can find his best around a turn.

5. Side Glance 59kg (Barrier 1)
International hope who hasn’t won since mid 2012 over 1700m on Good at Epsom. Did run on well the next start behind a handy horse called Frankel but after that has always found a few too good. Every chance last start losing by 2L and previous to that didn’t show much in the Prince of Wales. Not the best here.
Verdict: Other international runners appeal more.

6. Seville 59kg (Barrier 10)
Tough win in The Metrop.. but the next three who finished behind wouldn’t be winning here. Speedmap for this horse is hard to figure out. Has the ability to fit forward today but from the barrier, I have Seville going mid to back of field. Doesn’t look a top hope here.
Verdict: Tactics well be the key to this runner. Not sure can win with any tactics.. but can go close to placing with the right run.

7. Rekindled Interest 59kg (Barrier 6)
Ran ok first up over 1200m but then was poor in the Epsom off a strong tempo. Goes around well enough at this track but just isn’t Cox Plate winning material at the weights.
Verdict: Won’t be winning this.

8. Puissance De Lune 59kg (Barrier 8)
Never runs a bad race. Last start was by far his best run all prep when put down almost identical sectionals to Fawkner over 2000m off a hot pace out front. Did beat home Fawkner JUST and they were the only two out the front who stuck on. Barrier 8 looks PERFECT today and you can see him sitting 3-4 back on the outside hitting the line very hard. Top chance.
Verdict: Genuine horse who gives his all. Will go very close and maps well.

9. Masked Marvel 59kg (Barrier 5)
Progressive all prep but is better over further distances than this and seems to be set for the Melbourne Cup. Looks unders here today and will be running on from the back.
Verdict: Too far back. Better swoopers in this.

10. Mull of Killough 59kg (Barrier 4)
Unlike some of the other runners, Is here for the Cox Plate. Best runs have been over 1600-200m distances. Just ignore last start run and look to two and four back. Doesn’t have a massive turn of speed but can be ridden on from the 800m and just keep producing solid sectionals.
Verdict: Tactics the key. Looks a blowout chance at big odds. At least worth a few bucks.

11. It’s A Dundeel 57.5kg (Barrier 13)
First up run in the Memsie wasn’t very impressive when had every chance and couldn’t show enough for mine. Next start in a slowly run Underwood mapped well enough and snuck his nose out to win. In the big races has always gone close but it’s hard to forget Reliable Man winning the Queen Eliz last prep over him and Happy Trails just 0.5L behind. How much has that set back with the hoof issue affected him also? Then also the plate that has been fitted.. how much ground does he lose? Is certainly a big chance, but with all these factors, and the price, can you really have on top? Outside barrier also hurts.
Verdict: Is his best on a corner track? Beaten by Super Cool in the Vase last year here. Going much better than that run but still a concern. Can go close but barrier draw did hurt and limit tactics.

12. Super Cool 57.5kg (Barrier 14)
Convincingly beaten last start by AJ and Foreteller. Gains half a KG today against Foreteller but on previous four runs this prep, several horses here have always found a way to beat him.
Verdict: Can’t see SC beating a number home of these home.

14. Long John 49.5kg (Barrier 11)
Just how good is he? People are suggesting ‘there are no Pierro’s or All Too Hard’s in this field’. Well, I tend to disagree. Long John has progressed significantly all prep and has shown a great deal of talent. His sectionals have been solid ridden forward or back and with no real pace runners in the race, could sit out the front and find a moderate pace on. Seems to be screaming out for 2000m and is a big chance.
Verdict: It all depends on the tempo and how good the ones behind are. Has a chance and money has been coming for him.

15. Shamus Award 49.5kg (Barrier 3)
Can’t be ignored. Ran Divine Calling at course to a head and we know how well Divine Calling did last start behind Long Jonh. Shamus Award also ran on very well in that race from the back and can certainly position further forward from barrier 3. Some maps suggest Shamus and Long John could be leading this up.
Verdict: Looks to be suited by the up in distance and isn’t the worst at the odds.. but even if improves probably does find one or two too good.

The Key Chances

In no particular order, I have moved all of the runners into one of four categories. Just to explain what it all means, just because a runner is in the Medium Chance pile doesn’t necessary mean they aren’t a good bet. It means they need a fair bit of luck and the right circumstances.

High Chance

Puissance De Lune
Long John
Happy Trails
It’s a Dundeel

Medium Chance

Shamus Award
Mull Of Killough

Low Chance

Side Glance
Super Cool

Minimal Chance

Green Moon
Rekindled Interest
Masked Marvel

Cox Plate 2013 Tips

Top Pick – Puissance De Lune

He has done nothing wrong all prep. The majority of the key chances will be sitting behind him in running and if they can out sprint him, then they are simply better horses. He maps well and has continued to rate better as the prep has gone along. If the form around Fawkner is to go off, then he comes into this ready to win.

Best Roughie – Happy Trails

The Turnbull win was brave and he was given a perfect ride. A repeat of that performance goes close here and the price is simply overs compared to the others in the race he beat home. Sure, I have a soft spot for him, but when you look at the ROI of this horse (who beat Fawkner in the Emirate’s last year), he keeps delivering.

Top 10

Puissance De Lune
It’s a Dundeel
Long John
Happy Trails
Mull of Killough
Shamus Award
Super Cool