The Cox Plate card provides the second-leg of a massive double header at Moonee Valley with Friday night’s Manikato Stakes (Race 7) meeting an early opportunity for our clients to fill their pockets with cash ahead of the main fare.
Indeed, punters could be forgiven for thinking it was a case of déjà vu with top class sprinter Chautauqua also looking to repeat his triumph over 1200m here 12 months ago and a combination of the two race favourites is certain to be a popular selection for our bigger players.
Following an indifferent showing in the Moir Stakes, where he was beaten more than three lengths byExtreme Choice despite hitting the line well, our traders are far less ebullient about the prospects of the grey and we are challenging the punters to come after us and land an early blow.
With the horse certain to get back, the rails draw may actually work to his disadvantage and we can envisage jockey Dwayne Dunn having his work cut out to slice a passage through the eleven runner field, which gives us ample reason to oppose him at the odds.
Indeed, there are doubts surrounding a number of the leading contenders with Golden Slipper winnerCapitalist under the microscope following an inauspicious three-year-old season to date.
Connections abandoned plans to contest the Golden Rose after a sluggish first-up effort in the San Domenico, although his most recent effort when finishing third behind stablemate Russian Revolution gave the Snowden’s reason to believe that he was close to a return to top form.
Similarly, All Aged Stakes winner English hasn’t managed to set the world alight in her two runs this spring and despite co-trainer Gai Waterhouse’s proclamation that she’s ‘ready to pounce’ we’re not convinced that the horse is travelling well enough to win this.
Instead we felt that, relative to some of the other runners, experienced campaigner Lucky Hussler represented some solid each way value given he would have derived plenty of conditioning from his run in the Moir and boasts a win over 1200m around the Valley on his resume.
A more stringent training workload from trainer Robert Heathcote should also see the old warhorse Buffering primed for a competitive showing in conditions he is highly familiar with and from the favourable draw the 2013 winner may prove popular with punters through the exotics.