The Cox Plate 2017 Ultimate Guide

Cox Plate 2017: Your Ultimate Guide To The Cox Plate 2017

Your guide to pick the winner in ​the ​Cox Plate 2017​

​Cox Plate 2017 is the ​second of the Spring Racing Carnival's big three races.​ With the Caulfield Cup done and dusted we now turn to the Cox Plate 2017.

The ​Cox Plate 2017 ​brings the best weight-for-age horses together over 2040m do battle for a healthy $3 million in prize money.

The race is currently dominated by a little old mare named Winx. You might have heard of her, and no doubt plenty have because the track is officially SOLD OUT!

Only 8 horses have accepted the Winx challenge, making the ​Cox Plate 2017 a dismal one. However, the excitement around Winx means it doesn’t matter.

Does she make it three straight Cox Plate wins, and 22 straight wins in total, to become one of the greatest horses of all time (if she isn’t already)?

Let’s dive in a find out.

​How to find the ​Cox Plate 2017 winner

Manikato Stakes 2017

​When it comes to major races like the ​Cox Plate 2017, excitement and passion can blind many recreational punters.

To get the best information on how you can find the diamond in the rough, grab a copy of our Guide to Making a Small Fortune in Horse Racing.

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We have run the form eye over each runner in the ​Cox plate 2017 to tease out what we think are the best contenders and the value prices, and who we think may fall short.

You can use these as free betting tips for the ​Cox Plate 2017

Manikato Stakes 2017

​The ​Cox Plate 2017 Final Field

Happy Clapper

Barrier: 9

Jockey: Damien Oliver

Trainer: Patrick Webster

Odds: $26.00 / $2.50 on Bet365

I would happily rate this fella as one of the best middle-distance horses in Australia. From 1400m to 1600m, his record above that is average when it comes to wins.

In fact, he has never won over the 1600m, despite some pretty good places.

He is drawn a shocker here and may get stuck wide the trip. If he was ever going to challenge Winx, I don’t think he needs any risk. That’s exactly what the wide draw places on him.

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

He won’t beat Winx, and although he is all class, I can see him possibly missing the place.

Gailo Chop

Barrier: 3

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $2.30 on BlueBet (Money Back if runs 2nd or 3rd)

Quality French horse that has hit his best patch of form since coming to Australia.

This preparation has been very good, and last start he won over 2000m in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.

Some horses he beat in that include the Cup fancy Johannes Vermeer, Hartnell, Bonneval, Single Gaze etc. That’s very good form for the Cox Plate 2017.

He is a multiple Group 1 winner, and has collected over 2 million in prize money.

He is clearly a very classy horse, and considering he is drawn a peach and likes to sit forward, the Moonee Valley track looks ideal for him despite never running on it before.

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

You would be nuts to think he beats Winx, but he will be in this a long way and must be considered a top 4 chance.


Barrier: 8

Jockey: Blake Shinn

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $21.00 / $4.30 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

I am a huge fan of this fella, but despite that I have received great inside mail on him since he got here from NZ.

The Weir camp has an enormous opinion of him, and his runs lately have been better than most think.

Damien Lane made it clear that the horse cost himself the Caulfield Cup. On turning he looked the best chance, but he insisted on laying in. That’s racing though, and you can’t afford any mishaps in the big races.

He has drawn wide, which is ok because his pattern is to drift back. I think he will position well at the rear and get a nice easy cart into it on the turn.

He is a multiple Group 1 winner, and has never missed the place over 2000m in 5 starts (including 3 wins).

My main concern (outside of Winx), is the track. I am not sure he will get enough time to stoke up enough at Moonee Valley.

All depends when Shinn presses the button. Before the turn and he could be right in the finish, but if he leaves it too late then the Cox Plate 2017 will get away from him quickly.

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

If he is switched on and ridden accordingly, then I have to throw him in the top 4.


Barrier: 2

Jockey: Michelle Payne

Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam

Odds: $26.00 / $5.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

Michelle Payne has done it before. Remember a little-known horse called Prince of Penzance who won the Melbourne Cup at lottery odds. Can she pull a rabbit again?

The simple answer is NO. 

If she does, I would be surprised if any person in the universe gave it a chance. Here are the simple facts that suggest it will find it very hard to even place in the Cox Plate 2017.

It is an Irish horse that has had one start in Australia, for a weakening 16th of 18 runners (7.95L). Yes, it was a Group 1, but it was also over 1600m, and he slowed noticeably.

I am not discrediting the horse’s ability at all, because it is very talented. However, it is yet to win a Group 1 in 5 starts (only one place), and now they are testing it against one of the world’s best horses, in one of the world’s toughest races.

The one positive is it will find the lead easily and dictate the tempo. This is ideal for Moonee Valley, but I suspect they probably run it off its feet out in front to roll the dice (aka Lasqueti Spirit in the 2016 Crown Oaks). This is its only chance, and it could ruin the race, but it still won't win.

Clearly, the small field was an incentive for some prizemoney, and without a genuine thought for victory. I guess it could be a smart financial move.

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

Not for me here.


Barrier: 5

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Odds: $34.00 / $6.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

This is a real unknown for me, and probably most of the punters down under.

He is a UK horse that has had one start in Australia for a very impressive win at Cranbourne.

He is drawn a peach here and will either sit outside of the leader or one out one back. There will be no excuses in the run, so the question is if he is good enough.

All we can go on is some stats and his first run here. 

His run at Cranbourne was very good, but the quality was nowhere near this. You can only beat what you race, but that was a listed field, and now he jumps to the hardest level of all – Group 1 WFA in the 2017 Cox Plate. 

The distance won’t worry him because he won strongly over 2000m last start. However, he is yet to win at Group 1 level, and in fact has never won at any Group level (1, 2 or 3).

He has run a few solid places, but all were overseas against horses that I don’t think were up to these. 

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

He is an unknown, and is drawn perfectly, but I just can’t have him in a Cox Plate (yet).


Barrier: 1

Jockey: Regan Bayliss

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $34.00 / $6.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

Like Kaspersky, this seems like another throw at the stumps.

Drawn to sit behind horses on the fence, which isn’t ideal. He will need luck to find the gaps I would think.

Despite that, he has never won at Group 1 level in 9 starts, and overall won 1 Group or Listed race in 14 starts. Add to this he has never won over 1400m, nor has he raced at Moonee Valley.

The one positive was last start, which was a huge finish in the Group 1 Toorak (1600 m) behind Tosen Stardom. In that, he finished 2.3L off them in 5th, and while it was full of merit, it isn’t enough to consider him a logical chance in the 2017 Cox Plate.

Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

In a small field you never know, but he ticks no boxes at all for me.


Barrier: 3

Jockey: Luke Nolen

Trainer: David Brideoake

Odds: $26.00 / $5.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​Was backed in to run a big Caulfield Cup, but he really didn’t show much.

From a good barrier he should be able to hold the one out spot about 3-4 back. Decisions will need to be made when he pushed the button, because from there at Moonee Valley you can get rounded very quickly and have nowhere to run.

He is a smart horse, but this class of a Cox Plate looks beyond him. Yet to win at Group 1 level, and won just once in 9 attempts at Group or Listed level.

He is 1 from 1 at the Valley, and this was a very impressive win in March over the same trip. His opposition was far inferior then though, and I doubt he rounds up some of these, or even out sprints a few of the back markers like Humidor, Royal Symphony and Happy Clapper.

​Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

In a small field you never know, but I can’t have him.


Barrier: 6

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Trainer: Chris Waller

Odds: $17.00 / $3.50 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​There is so much to say here, but it is almost pointless. Still, let’s entertain ourselves with some Winx love.

She is fast becoming one of the greatest horses of all time (if she isn’t already). Some overseas would argue about her current status, but she would have to be the best horse in the world, or at least very close.

She has won almost 14 million in prize money and she is only 6 years old. This is almost double that of Black Caviar, who never lost in 25 starts, and if she wins this race she should surpass the great Makybe Diva, who won three Melbourne Cups.

In her career she has finished in the top two in 28 of her 31 starts, and has won from 1100m to 2200m. These include 14 wins out of 17 Group 1 races (plus two places).

She has won 80% of her races at Group level, and a win in the 2017 Cox Plate would make it her thirds straight.

She is currently on a 21-race win streak, and never lost at Moonee Valley (both Cox Plate starts).

No prizes for picking her, but if you don’t think she ticks enough boxes, then you have big issues.

​Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

Bowman will say go on the turn, and she will skip 4L in front in a heartbeat. GAME OVER!

Royal Symphony

Barrier: 7

Jockey: Dean Yendall

Trainer: Tony McEvoy

Odds: $6.00 / $1.80 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

If you haven’t heard of, or seen this horse, then put it in your blackbook. He is a star on the rise, and will win plenty going forward.

Remember the famous story of the 3YO colt Shamus Award who won the Cox Plate in 2013 as a maiden carrying so much as a feather on its back.

That is the story that Royal Symphony faces here in the ​Cox Plate 2017, albeit against one of the greatest horses we have seen.

He is a winner of 4 out of 6 career starts, with his only two apparent fails coming at Caulfield. I am not so put off by those two runs, because not only were they both 4ths, but his closing sectionals were epic.

He will become an incredible horse going forward if what we have seen is improved on. I also think the 2000m may even been a massive plus for him at this stage.

The only horse that matches his finishing sectionals here is Winx, and they are very close. Followed by Humidor. But let’s not get carried away because Winx is almost always in cruise speed.

I am interested to see how he is ridden. All evidence suggests he floats back to the rear, but I won’t be surprised to see them ride him forward. If the latter, he may be right in this for a long way under such a light weight. Even still, if they ride him quietly and go before the turn, he could run a huge finish.

I don’t think he beats the great mare, but he is one to watch for the future and could run a ripping race here.

​Cox Plate 2017 Verdict

Huge place chance.

Manikato Stakes 2017

​​Cox Plate 2017 Top Selections

As always make sure you watch to see how the track is playing because this could impact the chances of a horse winning the Cox Plate 2017.

Mooney Valley is a very tight track with one of the shortest straights in racing. Leaders are favoured on a fair day, let alone if there is any bias. Take note!

To assess how the track is playing, take note of where the earlier winners are coming from.

  • Are they leaders that kick easily, with no horses really making ground down the middle or from the back? If yes, the this is favouring the leaders.
  • Are ​they winning from behind constantly? Are the leaders fading away in the straight or does the inside of the track look slower than the middle? Obviously make sure this a regular thing, and not just a $200-1 horse in one race. If yes, then this favours the horses coming from behind.
  • ​If there are no clear indications (e.g. horses running solidly in front, just off the speed and coming home strong), then we have ourselves a track playing fair.

​We want that last one, but it isn’t always the case and could impact the ​Cox Plate 2017 considerably.

(8) Winx

No prizes for picking her to win the ​Cox Plate 2017, because she picks herself. Hopefully she wins, and we can enjoy one of the greatest of all time. I think she does easily, and could probably start running from Sydney and still win. There is no value in her price though, and I guess she would have to be a standout in all exotics. 

(9) Royal Symphony

Horse on the rise, and he carries next to no weight. I suspect he runs a ripping race and would be my pick for 2nd or 3rd in the ​Cox Plate 2017. Either way mark him down going forward. 

(3) Humidor

Very classy horse that could be a star in his own right. Not quite up to Winx, but if he is switched on he could absolutely fly home. If there is no leader bias, and if he goes before the turn, watch him down the middle. He is one of the best horses in the ​Cox Plate 2017, but the Moonee Valley track is my main concern. 

(2) Gailo Chop

Just keeps running well, and he clearly has the ticks on the board. Proven at Group 1 and proven over the trip. With the dream barrier and run in transit, I must have him in my top few for the ​Cox Plate 2017.   

(1) Happy Clapper / (5) Folkswood

Really running out of depth now, so these two must get a mention here.

Happy Clapper is all class, and has run in last year's Cox Plate. He was beaten easily in that race, and he is drawn a shocker here. I think his toughness takes him a long way, and in a race with little depth he is an obvious place chance. I must admit I don’t think he gets it, but in this spot, he is next best.

Folkswood is unknown for most people, including me. The big question is whether he is up to the ​Cox Plate 2017 level. He is drawn nicely, and will run the distance out, so while I like the aforementioned horses more, he is the next choice.

Guide to betting on The Caulfield Cup
"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a life time."With this guide you'll be able to make money on the horses for a life time!

Get the ​exact tips and tricks that helped a small punter make $134,310.00 on the horses.

Manikato Stakes 2017

About the Author Grant

Grant is an elite sporting enthusiast. His knowledge stems from the fact that he 'could have' played at the top level in no less than 5 sports, including 2 that he has never played but assures us he would have dominated. His primary loves are the AFL and Horse Racing, and to this day he insists that his lunchtime pack-mark in Year 9 remains the greatest of all time. Beyond the Dreamtime stories and the 'shoulda', 'coulda' sporting legends claims, one thing that remains true is Grant's keen eye for analysis and his stable of reliable contacts that see him deliver consistent and accurate information on many sports and our four-legged friends.

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