Cox Plate 2023
Distance: 2040m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: True | Track Condition: Good 4
It’s the best two minutes in sport! The Cox Plate is always one of the premiere races on the calendar and this edition should be no exception. We’ve got an incredibly even edition this year and you can make a case for nearly every runner. The Hong Kong raider Romantic Warrior heads the betting, but there’s plenty of quality coming from our own backyard who will be looking to ruin his trip to Oz. Let’s try find a winner!
Such an interesting tactical race this year. There’s not a massive amount of speed but Alligator Blood will look for the top from the nice draw with Zaaki could also looking to press on. Mr Brightside should find a nice spot with Romantic Warrior box seating for favourite backers and Militarize running off his tail. Gold Trip and Fangirl will likely be dragged back and look for a big finish.
1: Romantic Warrior (7)
Remains race favourite despite failing to run a place in the Turnbull on his Australian debut. He sat on speed in a brutally run gallop, pulled his head off and was underdone, so plenty of excuses and probably did well to finish where he did. Word is he has really come on since that run, but four lengths on Gold Trip is a massive swing and for that I think he’s unders. Still, he should get the run of the race and could come out and show his class.
2: Zaaki (12)
Probably past his best but still has a case to make. His two runs back have been full of merit, being edged out by some quality animals in Fangirl and Think It Over respectively. Has plenty of work to do from the wide alley and is going to have to find his best, which is something we haven’t seen for a while so am happy to dismiss.
3: Mr Brightside (2)
Mr Brightside has had an outstanding year, winning almost everything he’s ran in but has he peaked too early? There were some excuses but I thought his run in the King Charles was flat. It was a sit and sprint which wasn’t ideal for him, but he still looked a little plain and considering how good he was going earlier in the prep it’s no shock that he’s tapered off. Not to mention he’s yet to win over 2000m. However, he’s a class animal, will do no work from the draw and loves the Valley. Can’t dismiss.
4: Alligator Blood (5)
Alligator Blood backed up his strong win in the Underwood with another nice one in the Caulfield Stakes. Was good to finally see him tick the 2000m box but I didn’t think it was overly strong considering Vow and Declare and Duais were closing in. Slight concerns there, but he’s one of the tougher horses around, should get to where he wants in the run and be able to control the tempo. Plenty of ticks.
5: Gold Trip (8)
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner has been one of the stars of the spring so far. Following his dominant Turnbull win, his run in the Caulfield Cup was massive. We know they’re both good form races coming into this and while he’ll likely need a solid tempo, you’d be a brave man to overlook him. He’s tough, rock-hard fit, proven at this level and should be hitting the line with conviction.
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) October 7, 2023
6: My Oberon (4)
Hasn’t had a crack at the 2000m since arriving in Australia but has shown form around the distance overseas. Has ran boldly this prep without winning, and gets a nice draw for this. Goes better with some give in the track which he won’t get here. Can’t have.
7: Pinstriped (11)
Nice win in the Feehan two starts back and got home well in the Toorak most recently but still outclassed. Will be the same here.
8: Fangirl (9)
Fangirl is going as good as she’s ever gone right now. She got it all her way in the King Charles but didn’t she use it to her advantage, absolutely thrashing Mr Brightside. While there’s queries at the 2040m, and could potentially get dragged too far back, she’s arguably the best miler in the country so deserves her crack at this. Overs.
9: Duais (1)
Lots of intrigue about Duais. Her best runs have been around this mark and has won out to 2400m. Was a really nice closing effort behind Alligator Blood last week and can sit closer from the draw. She’s fit and her best is good enough, but don’t think he’ll be winning this.
10: Victoria Road (6)
Aiden O’Brien galloper having his first start in Australia. Has some form lines to suggest he’s up to this but not enough to conclusively say he can win Australia’s premier WFA test. Has been friendless in early markets and there’s not much to suggest he’s we’ll be winning. Still, overseas stayers do have a strong record in the Cox Plate and you have to respect the stable.
11: Militarize (3)
This bloke has some X-factor. Is a three-time Group 1 winner who arrives here out of the Caulfield Guineas where he was super considering the race shape and how it played out. Everything suggests he’ll see out the mile and a quarter. He gets a 9.5kg swing on the older horses, can get a nice run in behind Romantic Warrior and go very close.
12: King Colorado (10)
Has a similar profile to Militarize and is ticking along really nicely. Was a sound effort in the Caulfield Guineas last week but is drawn awkwardly here and perhaps doesn’t have the class. He’s a better winning chance in the Derby.
This should be a cracking race. Romantic Warrior appears the one to beat but if Militarize can settle close, with the light weight he can pick them off with a strong finish and looks a nice betting prospect at $8+.
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