Fri, Oct 27, 8:31am by Staff Writer
It’s Moonee Valley’s time to shine with their two-day mini-carnival starting under lights on Friday night with the running of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) followed by Cox Plate day where all eyes will be on Winx as she looks to equal Kingston Town’s record of three Group 1 Cox Plates (2040m).
So You Think, Fields of Omagh, Northerly and Sunline have all done the Cox Plate double in recent history but if Winx ($1.15) were to win on Saturday she’d go into the record books alongside Kingston Town who won three straight back in 1980, 81 and 82. Of her 25 wins, 14 have been at G1 level, she’s won 21 straight and a win here will see her sail past $15-million in prize money – an Australian record. She’s at unbackable odds and it seems not even bad luck will prevent her from getting the three.
Happy Clapper ($23) broke his Group 1 maiden status two starts back in the Epsom (1600m) and he’s since run second in the G3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick when a short odds-on favourite. Humidor ($19) backs up from the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and he’s joined by stable mate Gailo Chop ($19) who held out a fast-finishing Johannes Vermeer to take out the G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last start.
Folkswood ($19) continued the great ‘Australian’ form of Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby when winning the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) while Kaspersky’s ($81) Australian debut saw him finish 16th of 18 – beaten 8L – in the G1 Toorak (1600m). Three-year-old colt Royal Symphony ($16) won his first four career starts and has since finished fourth at his last two – both those defeats coming at Caulfield.
The Group 1 action starts under lights on Friday night with the running of the G1 Manikato Stakes (1200m). Vega Magic ($2.30) is favourite for the race and he’s been supported in pre-post betting and again since the barrier draw after coming up with gate three. His run in The Everest was very brave when second to Redzel, the ride by Craig Williams very much a topic of discussion for the punters. Before that he was a winner of the G1 Memsie (1400m) with a G1 Goodwood (1200m) two starts prior to that.
Chautauqua ($7) won this race two years ago and he’s fourth-up after a last start fourth in The Everest. All his runs this time in have been scrutinised by punters and form students alike although he’s running well and if he gets a race to suit, he’ll be hard to beat. In the autumn when fourth-up he won the G1 TJ Smith (1200m) on a heavy-8.
In Her Time ($5) has won both her starts this campaign and no one would begrudge her a well-deserved G1 win while English ($13) rattled home to finish within a nose of In Her Time two starts back, before a sixth of 12 in The Everest.
Spieth ($19) might be starting to wear thin on punters but he’ll get the services of Nash Rawiller on Friday night. His trainer believes Spieth will appreciate being away from the Flemington straight and he also gets the addition of blinkers for the first time. Malaguerra ($15) is second-up and is a G2 Australia Stakes winner over this track and distance while Viddora ($15) is racing consistently with a win and five seconds from her last six starts – her most recent run, a photo-finish second to She Will Reign in the G1 Moir (1000m) at The Valley.
Voodoo Lad ($23) has won two from three at the track and can certainly figure in the finish. Rock Magic ($23) is racing well and has been in the finish at his past two runs in Victoria, his most recent when third beaten less than a half-length by Super Cash ($18) who also lines up here while Hey Doc ($21) won the Group 3 Aurie’s Star (1200m) when fresh and drops back to the sprint distances after finishing well back in the G1 Makybe Diva (1600m).
Suggested Bet: There’s not much love for French Emotion (race 5, number 1) in early markets and whilst this is still a Group 3 race, she’s raced against much tougher quality of late. She came within a whisker of winning the G1 Myer last year and we might be going off a race early but in the small field at $12 and with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, she’s worth an each-way bet.
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