The Cox Plate is one of the most prestigious and exciting horse races in Australia It attracts the best middle distance and staying horses from around the world. The race is held at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne and forms a big part of the Spring Racing Carnival. It’s run over 2040 metres and features under weight-for-age conditions.
The Cox Plate has the who’s who of big name champions on it’s roll call. This includes Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Sunline, and Winx, who won the race four times in a row. The 2023 edition of the Cox Plate promises to be another thrilling contest. It features some of the top contenders: Romantic Warrior, Gold Trip, Alligator Blood, Victoria Road, and Mr Brightside. Who will win the coveted trophy and the $5 million prize money? We’ll all find out on Saturday 28th October 2023.
The favourite: Romantic Warrior
Romantic Warrior is still one of the top contenders for the Cox Plate. The five-year-old gelding has been in impressive form this season, winning three of his last four starts and finishing second in the other. He might claim the trophy:
- He has a proven record at Moonee Valley, having won the Feehan Stakes over the same distance and track in September.
- He has a strong turn of foot, which is crucial for navigating the tight bends and short straight of the Valley.
- He has a favourable barrier draw, starting from gate four, which will allow him to settle in a good position and avoid traffic.
- He has a top jockey in Damien Oliver, who has won the Cox Plate four times before and knows how to ride the course.
- He has a competitive spirit and a will to win, as shown by his narrow defeat to Anamoe in the Caulfield Guineas, where he fought hard to the line.
Romantic Warrior is sitting at $6.50 at the bookies, which I think is great value for a horse of his calibre and consistency. He has all the attributes to win the Cox Plate and I believe he will do it. I’ll definitely be putting a few dollars on a win, and also a place.
Why I think Gold Trip will get up
Gold Trip is a French import who has already proven himself in Australia by winning the Melbourne Cup last year. He has also shown impressive form this spring, winning the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes in a dominant fashion, beating some of the best horses in the country. He is now one of the favourites for the Cox Plate, and I think he has a great chance of adding another prestigious trophy to his collection. Here are some of the reasons why I think Gold Trip will get up:
- He has a proven record at The Valley, having run third in the Cox Plate last year behind Amelia’s Jewel and Romantic Warrior. He was only beaten by a length and a half, and he has improved since then.
- He has a versatile racing style, being able to settle at the back of the field or near the lead. He can unleash a powerful finishing burst, as he did in the Turnbull Stakes, where he came from last to first in the final 400 metres.
- He has a strong staying ability, having won over 3200 metres in the Melbourne Cup. The Cox Plate is run over 2040 metres, which is well within his range. He can also handle any track conditions, having won on good, soft and heavy ground.
- He has a top jockey in Mark Zahra, who knows him well and has ridden him in all his Australian starts. Zahra is confident in Gold Trip’s ability and said he was “spine tingling” after his Turnbull Stakes win.
- He has a top trainer in Ciaron Maher, who won the Cox Plate last year with Amelia’s Jewel. Maher is one of the best trainers in the country and knows how to prepare his horses for big races. He said Gold Trip’s Turnbull Stakes win was “his best win” and that he was “dynamic and very impressive”.
Gold Trip is a worthy contender for the Cox Plate and has a lot of things sitting in his favour. He’s a classy horse who has shown he can mix it with the best in Australia and overseas. He’s in peak form and ready to peak again on Cox Plate day. He’ll definitely will give the race his best shot and give his connections another memorable run.
Why I think Alligator Blood will get up
Alligator Blood is a champion horse who has won seven Group 1 races, five of them at weight-for-age. He has proven himself over 2000 metres with a dominant win in the Might And Power Stakes. He beat the likes of Vow And Declare and Duais. He is in fine form and ready to take on the Cox Plate challenge.
Here are some reasons why I think Alligator Blood is in with a good chance:
- He has a great record at The Valley, having won the Moonee Valley Vase and finished fifth in the Cox Plate last year.
- He has a brilliant turn of foot that can put his rivals away in the straight.
- He has a tough and resilient temperament that suits the pressure of the Cox Plate.
- He has the best trainer-jockey combination in Gai Waterhouse and Tim Clark. They both know how to win big races.
- He”s overcome a minor setback earlier in the week and passed the vet check with flying colours.
Alligator Blood is a star of Australian racing and deserves to add the Cox Plate to his impressive resume. He is a horse with heart, courage and ability, and I he has a great chance to show them all why he is the best on Saturday.
What are the bookies saying?
The betting spread for the Cox Plate is always competitive and exciting, as punters and bookies try to find the value and pick the winner from a superb field. This year is no different.
It’s important to note the odds can change significantly in the lead-up to the race. This will depend on things like form, injuries, weights, barriers and track conditions.
Let’s look at the spread of odds from the major Australian betting sites. Updated 27th, October 2023
There’s definitely some variation in the odds offered by different bookmakers, so it pays to shop around and compare the prices before placing your bets. There’s also a good chance to take advantage of the early markets and specials that are available for the Cox Plate.
Horses for a Cox Plate Quinella
If you’re looking to maximise your winnings, a quinella is a fair chance. Here’s my tips for a quinella and I’ll probably drop a bet on race day.
- Romantic Warrior: I’ve got the Hong Kong superstar as my favourite to win the race after
- Alligator Blood: I’ll probably put some money down for a place, but he’s worth putting in your quinella.\
- Gold Trip: This Melbourne Cup winner and two-time Caulfield Cup placegetter is flying, has plenty of international experience and is a sure chance.
- Fangirl: Not in my favourite list but I’m including this Chris Waller-trained mare for good luck. She has a sense of timing and will be stalking the leaders from barrier eight. She has Zac Purton in the saddle, who is one of the best jockeys in the world.
The Bottom Line
The Cox Plate is the ultimate test of the best horses in Australasia. This years event is no exception. There’s a mix of proven champions and emerging stars vying for the $5 million prize.
Of course, anything can happen in horse racing. There’s many other factors to consider, such as barriers, track conditions, pace, luck and tactics. The Cox Plate is a race that often produces surprises and upsets, so don’t be afraid to back your own judgement and have some fun.
Disclaimer: Remember that online betting is a risky activity that can lead to addiction and financial problems. Always gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose. If you need help or support, contact Gambling Help Online on 1800 858 858 or visit https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/.