Cox Plate Tips 2022:  History, Odds, Value Bets, And Race Day Preview

Cox Plate Tips 2022: History, Odds, Value Bets, And Race Day Preview



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The cauldron of Moonee Valley – or, as it is now labeled, simply ‘The Valley’ – provides an atmosphere unique in Australian racing circles. 

With grandstands towering over the tight mile circuit in Melbourne’s inner northwest, with the crowd crooning along to Daryl Braithwaite’s cover of The Horses, it is the perfect amphitheater for Australasia’s weight-for-age champions, the G1 W.S. Cox Plate.

Marking its centenary year in 2022, the Cox Plate has brought together the creme de la creme of talent from Australia, New Zealand, and – more recently – worldwide to go toe-to-toe over the 2040m journey. 

And it is known as the Race of Champions for a reason, crowning champions of the past like Phar Lap and Beau Vite, dominant winners like Might & Power and Kingston Town, epic rivalries like Bonecrusher and Our Waverly Star, fairytale stories like Makyve Diva, and perhaps the greatest victor of them all, Winx, who triumphed from 2015-2018. 

Since Winx’s reign, it’s the internationals who have ruled with Lys Gracieux, Sir Dragonet, and State Of Rest lifting the plate in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Can an Australian horse bring it home in the greatest two minutes of sport in 2022 – we’re set to find out at 5:10 pm local time on Saturday, with another winner will be added to its imperious honour roll.

Who of the Cox Plate field will win this $5 million heavyweight contest? (Odds correct as at Oct 20 9:18am)

#10 Anamoe ($2.40)

A field of 12 contests this year’s race, headlined by six-time Group 1 winner Anamoe, to be ridden by James McDonald. The first Australian horse in 20 years to win a Group 1 at two, three, and four, the blip on Anamoe’s record is last year’s Cox Plate when he was so cruelly denied by State Of Rest.

The James Cummings-trained Anamoe (which featured in my 10 horses to watch this Spring Carnival article) is flying this time in and his win in the G1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last time out sets him up beautifully for this. However, that race was the perfect Cox Plate appetiser with a thrilling finish between Anamoe, I’m Thunderstruck, and Zaaki, and if he’s slightly below his best, the other two will be ready to pounce. 

#2 I’m Thunderstruck ($13.00)

I’m Thunderstruck, prepared by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, is one of the most popular horses in training, and his last-stride win to take the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in September was enormous. He’s still some query at 2040m although his effort in the Might And Power suggests that he can get the trip if things fall his way. From gate 10, though, it’s not going to be entirely straightforward for Mark Zahra.

#1 Zaaki ($4.00)

Perhaps Anamoe’s redemption story is topped by that of Annabel Neasham’s Zaaki, who was pre-post favourite for last year’s Cox Plate before being withdrawn on race morning last year.

Since then, he’s added victories in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), the $5 million All-Star Mile, the G2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m), and the G2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) but may not have hit the heights that were expected of him. Still, he’s honest and he won’t be far away under Jamie Kah even if he’s not the winner.

#6 Gold Trip ($14.00)

If you want redemption, maybe that belongs to last weekend’s G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) runner-up Gold Trip. He looked the winner for much of the straight at Caulfield before being run down by the lightly weighted Durston. Leading English rider Jamie Spencer takes the mount and he’s not without claims.

RELATED: 10 Horses Set To Dominate Headlines This Spring Carnival

#3 Alligator Blood ($14.00)

The incredibly popular Alligator Blood will jump and likely lead from gate 12 for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. He remains a major query at this distance but his presence is a major boon for the race and if he kicks for home, the crowd will go wild.

#12 El Bodegon ($7.50)

Representing the European form is El Bodegon who – like Sir Dragonet – steps out for an Australian trainer. Owned by some of Chris Waller’s biggest clients like Noel Greenhalgh and Peter Tighe, El Bodegon won the respectable G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud (2000m) as a two-year-old last year.

While he hasn’t won as a three-year-old, his efforts in races like the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m), the G1 Grand Prix de Paris (2400m), and the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2400m) would all put him firmly in the mix here and that form has generally been franked across the globe.

The drop back to 2000m suits and with Damien Oliver on his back he’s likely to find himself on or near the speed, with the more rain falling on race day, the better.

So where should you put your money?

In his current form, it’s almost impossible to look past Anamoe, who is understandably short at $2.40 on BossBet. Instead, El Bodegon is poised to threaten if he gets the ground to suit, and the $7.50 looks far more appealing.

However, if you seek real value, perhaps it lies with #7 Laws Of Indices at $31 who steps up beyond a mile for the first time. The way in which he finished off in the G1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) was impressive and if The Everest is anything to go by, he might be one to cause the shock.

Other horses to watch on Cox Plate day

Also at Moonee Valley, a key G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) trial will take place in Race 8 – G2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) although perhaps it’s a horse not entered for the first Tuesday in November – #11 Francesco Guardi – who can cap his rise with a Group 2 win here.

Race 6 – G2 Crystal Mile (1600m) sees Toorak winner #2 Tuvalu ($3.10) start as the favourite but #7 Visinari ($8.50) could potentially be very good and could upset under the right conditions.

Race 7 – G2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) is a key lead-up to next weekend’s G1 Victoria Derby (2500m). #2 Virtuous Circle ($6.00) is already a winner around Moonee Valley and this trip should suit. Expect him to prove mighty hard to beat for Liam Howley and James McDonald.

And in Sydney, a field of 12 will contest the Race 8 – G1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, headlined by G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) runner-up #1 Elliptical ($4.20) and boom New Zealand colt Sharp ‘n’ Smart ($6.00)

Caulfield Guineas winner #1 Golden Mile ($1.75) is the favourite in Race 7 – G2 Callander-Presnell (1600m), named for legendary Sydney racing journalists Ken Callander and Max Presnell.

Check out our BossBook Hub for spring racing betting and style tips as well as race day previews.

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