Another place in the history books awaits the great mare at Moonee Valley on Saturday and seven rivals have been confirmed for Winx in the 2018 Cox Plate field.
Her record speaks for itself; an undefeated streak that spans more than three years, twenty-eight races, twenty-one of which at Group 1 level, and three-consecutive Cox Plate victories for nearly $20 million in prize money.
She resumed this time for an easy win in her namesake Group 1 over 1400m on August 18th and has since taken out the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m); the latter one of her more impressive victories to date after a tough run in transit.
The depth of talent that has accepted into the field for Saturday’s weight-for-age classic is truly outstanding and the value around Winx in 2018 Cox Plate betting is at a peak. The equine superstar has opened at $1.25 favourite to win.
Hartnell has been unable to do it and Kementari has been unable to do it, but Godolphin will be offered two more live chances of finally dethroning Winx when the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Benbatl ($9) and the locally-trained Avilius ($16) take their places in the 2018 Cox Plate field.
Plenty of hype has followed Benbatl this year and he is clearly the biggest danger to Winx in 2018 Cox Plate betting.
The Dubawi entire won the Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m) in March this year and resumed for a credible fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1609m) during the Royal Ascot Carnival.
He returned to winning form with a dominant performance in the Group 1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2012m) in Germany in late July and while he turned in a rare lacklustre run in the Group 1 Juddmonte International (2063m) in August, debuted in Australia for an impressive win in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) two weeks ago.
He’ll only improve off that run and is drawn ideally to emulate those on-pace tactics from barrier 3 in the Cox Plate 2018.
Avilius is yet to taste anything but success since arriving in Australia and he could prove to be the value in 2018 Cox Plate betting at his current each-way price.
The Pivotal gelding stamped himself as a horse to follow with an easy win over a mile at Randwick first-up in August and he has continued to improve as James Cummings has raised the bar; winning each of the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (1900m), Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) most-recently.
The Melbourne Cup is the major target and the drop back in distance into the Cox Plate field shouldn’t be an issue as he is rock-hard fit.
Humidor went within a head of defeating Winx in last year’s Cox Plate and he is a $16 shot to go one better on Saturday, while Kings Will Dream ($21) and D’Argento ($34) have both also been confirmed for starts.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Rostropovich ($34) is the unknown quantity in the Cox Plate field, while Kiwi raider Savvy Coup ($34) completes the group of eight.