Wed, Sep 21, 10:51am by Senior Writer
It may be one month and one day to the running of Australia’s greatest weight for age race, the Cox Plate, but punters wanting to back defending champion Winx will have to be content with taking odds-on from here on in.
Winx’s dominant win in the George Main takes last Saturday, her 11th win in succession, has seen her shorten into $1.85 in the Sportsbet market for the Cox Plate. She was as long as $2.50 three weeks ago after missing a run in the Chelmsford Stakes and even last week was $2.40.
Her complete dominance of the market comes off the back of her astonishing winning streak, and another dominant win, this time by one and half lengths.
She will now run in the Caulfield Stakes on October 8 before heading to Moonee Valley to defend the title she won in record-breaking style last year.
The only other horse under $10 in the Cox Plate market is Hartnell, who impressed with his win in the Hill Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Hartnell shortened from $15 into $9 on the strength of that victory, but trainer John O’Shea is not sold on running the former European against Winx at Moonee Valley.
Jockey James McDonald indicated that longer straights suited Hartnell, and given ‘The Valley’ has the shortest straight of any metropolitan track in Australia, it is likely he will instead be set for the Caulfield Cup, where he has 55kg and is now a $5 favourite. Stablemate Hauraki, second behind Winx on Saturday, is fourth pick for the Cox Plate at $17.
The United States is a $13 third favourite, while Makybe Diva Stakes winner Palentino is on the fifth line at $21 along with stabemates Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom, Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina and French galloper Vadamos, who entered quarantine last week.
The Caulfield Cup market received a considerable shake-up over the weekend with Hartnell now clear top pick at $5 having been $15 last week. Naturalism Stakes winner Jameka, a $17 chance last week, shortened to $6.50 on the strength of her win at Caulfield, which gave her a ballot exemption in the 2400m handicap on October 15.
The United States is also third favourite for that race at $13 along with UK galloper Exosphere, who was bought by Australian interests last week, and Irish galloper Highland Reel.
Tosen Stardom and Prince of Penzance were not among second acceptors for the Caulfield Cup.
The market for the Melbourne Cup is still largely unclear, with confusion over exactly which European horses will come to Melbourne.
Coolmore have put several horses into quarantine, but the identity of those horses is not yet known.
Big Orange and Wicklow Brave are definitely coming and as a result are $15 equal favourites with Hartnell for the $6.2 million handicap to be run on November 1. Locals Jameka and Signoff are joined by Bondi Beach at $17, while Idaho, Exosphere, Tavago, Our Ivanhowe and Curren Mirotic are at $21.
One of the biggest movers was Gallante, who ran second at long odds in the Naturalism and is now a $26 chance, on a line with ten other horses.
Probably the biggest shake-up in the futures market was in the Caulfield Guineas, where Godolphin confirmed that ruling favourite Astern would not contest the $1 million 1600m race on October 8.
Omei Sword heads Thousand Guineas markets at $3.50, although she is still in Caulfield Guineas markets at $9 should she decide to take on the colts and geldings om the same day. Foxplay is second pick in Thousand Guineas markets at $4.50.
Cox Plate Market (Sportsbet)
Hartnell (Gb) $9
The United States (Ire) $13
Vadamos (Fr) $21
Tosen Stardom (Jpn) $21
Black Heart Bart $21
Lucia Valentina (Nz) $21
Highland Reel (Ire) $21
Others $26 or longer
Caulfield Cup Market: (Sportsbet)
The United States $13
Highland Reel $13
Order of St George $15
Our Ivanhowe $17
Sir Isaac Newton $17
Others $21 and longer
Melbourne Cup Market (Sportsbet)
Big Orange $15
Wicklow Brave $15
Bondi Beach $17
Our Ivanhowe $21
Curren Mirotic $21
Beautiful Romance $26
The United States $26
Who Shot Thebarman $26
Secret Number $26
Heartbreak City $26
Others $31 or longer
Caulfield Guineas Market (Sportsbet)
Divine Prophet $4.5
Sacred Elixir $6.5
Omei Sword $9
Others $21 or longer
Thousand Guineas Market (Sportsbet)
Omei Sword $3.5
Harlow Gold $7
Whispering Brook $9
Samara Dancer $9
Sebring Dream $9
Yankee Rose $15
Others $21 or longer
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