Cox Plate 2021: guide to the runners, odds and tips for the big race

Cox Plate 2021 guide to the runners

Welcome to our 2021 Cox Plate runner-by-runner guide and tips, for the weight-for-age championship of Australia at Moonee Valley on Saturday, October 23. We have examined all the Cox Plate runners and given you our thoughts on the chances for the 2021 edition.

What is the Cox Plate horse race?

The Cox Plate is one of Australia’s greatest horse races and is held each October at Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne. The Cox Plate is run over 2040 metres at weight-for-age and its honour roll is littered with the champions of the Australian turf. It has long been regarded as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia though that status quo has been challenged in recent year by the rise of Sydney’s The Championships in the autumn and the jewel in its crown the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.


Cox Plate 2021 form & tips

WGL’s horse racing expert Magic Mike has been called in for his exclusive opinions on the 10 runners at Moonee Valley this Saturday. He is never far off the mark.


1 ZAAKI (GB)
Trainer: Annabel Neasham. Jockey: James McDonald. Barrier: 6. Weight: 59kg.

What the World Gambling List says: The boom horse of Australian racing had his coloured lowers as a long odds-on favourite last time in the Caulfield Stakes over 2000 metres. This horse made of mess of rivals in recent times in Brisbane and Sydney, so we do we put this flop down to the Caulfield factor, whereby some horses simply don’t handle that track well. The trainer is confident he can bounce back, while they have put the superstar jockey James McDonald back in the saddle. Last time out he was ridden well by Craig Williams, who also won on him at his previous start, but the horse really lacked dash. There are question marks but his best would have him right in the thick of it.
TopSport odds: $2.80


2 DALASAN
Trainer: Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas. Jockey: Daniel Moor. Barrier: 3. Weight: 59kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Ran third in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind Addeybb in the autumn. Has had two runs back from a spell and while he will be at his peak for this, he has always fallen just slightly short of the top class. Not this time.
TopSport odds: $61


3 GOLD TRIP
Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace. Jockey: Damien Oliver. Barrier: 2. Weight: 59kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Lightly raced stallion which ran fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year, and has only one win in 10 starts. That win came in the group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Lyon, France. This is a talented galloper but it’s so hard to say how well he has adapted to Australia, with this being his first official appearance for his new trainers. Failed a vet check on Thursday morning so is in some doubt of running.
TopSport odds: $10


4 CALLSIGN MAV (NZ)
Trainer: John Bary. Jockey: Luke Nolen. Barrier: 5. Weight: 59kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Multiple group 1 winner in New Zealand who is the likely leader in this race. Has won two group 1s since a spell but won his first group 1 at 80-1 so has form in causing surprises. The Kiwi trainer has had a throw at the stumps here but it’s debatable whether he is up to this class, despite racing in the best form of his career. Thrives in the wet but we can’t be on him this time.
TopSport odds: $61


5 MO’UNGA
Trainer: Annabel Neasham. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Barrier: 4. Weight: 57.5kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Underrated galloper which has an impressive turn of foot and won the group 1 Rosehill Guineas over 2000m in the autumn, backing it up to win the group 1 Winx Stakes over 1400m. Pushed the new boom galloper Incentivise all the way at Flemington two starts back, before being a little unlucky when running on in the group 1 Epsom last start and finishing fifth. I think his form is first class and he looms as the knockout horse, plus Hugh Bowman is no stranger to this race, having won it four times on Winx. Stablemate to the favourite and could easily get into the finish.
TopSport odds: $16


6 VERRY ELLEEGANT
Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Damian Lane. Barrier: 9. Weight: 57kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Reigning horse of the year which failed in this race in 2019, finishing 12th behind Japanese superstar Lys Gracieux. But she has won seven group 1s since and has been consistently the best horse in the country for the past couple of years. Blotted her copybook last time behind Incentivise but the stop-start nature of that race did not suit her and it would be no surprise so see her bounce back to contend here.
TopSport odds: $5


7 PROBABEEL
Trainer: Jamie Richards. Jockey: Brett Prebble. Barrier: 7. Weight: 57kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Four-time group 1 winner but finished only seventh in this race last year, 4.5 lengths from the winner Sir Dragonet on a wet track. She sat outside the leader in the 2020 Cox Plate and faded but the track was probably too wet for her liking. Still question marks over whether she is suited over a slightly shorter distance but is an outstanding performer. She just never runs a bad race but we are happy to bet around her this time.
TopSport odds: $14


8 STATE OF REST
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien. Jockey: John Allen. Barrier: 8. Weight: 56.5kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Lightly raced galloper which caused a surprise by winning the Saratoga Derby Invitational at his eighth start. Not quite sure how he will measure up in this field, but if he wasn’t from the powerful O’Brien camp you would probably give him no chance. Well in the betting but we would rather wait and see with this one.
TopSport odds: $10


9 ANAMOE
Trainer: James Cummings. Jockey: Craig Williams. Barrier: 10. Weight: 49.5kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Caulfield Guineas winner but no three-year-old has won a Cox Plate since Shamus Award in 2013. The light weight obviously brings him in with a chance and he is arguably the most promising three-year-old in the country. A classy type out to this distance for the first time but should not be too far away.
TopSport odds: $4.80


10 CAPTIVANT
Trainer: Peter & Paul Snowden. Jockey: Dean Yendall. Barrier: 1. Weight: 49.5kg.
What the World Gambling List says: Another three-year-old but has raced Anamoe five times and has yet to finish in front of him. The one thing in his favour is that he races as though the distance will suit him and he is already a group 1 winner of the Champagne Stakes. He is being thrown in at the deep end but Team Snowden would not do that if they did not think he was up to it. We won’t be taking him but he will run well.
TopSport odds: $20


Our final Cox Plate 2021 top four

ANAMOE 1, Zaaki 2, Mo’unga 3, Verry Elleegant 4



Recent winners of the Cox Plate

2020 Sir Dragonet. Jockey: Glen Boss. Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace. Time: 2:08.46.
2019 Lys Gracieux. Jockey: Damian Lane. Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi. Time: 2:04.21.
2018 Winx. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Trainer: Chris Waller. Time: 2:03.47.
2017 Winx. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Trainer: Chris Waller. Time: 2:02.94.
2016 Winx. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Trainer: Chris Waller. Time: 2:06.35
2015 Winx. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Trainer: Chris Waller. Time: 2:02.98
2014 Adelaide. Jockey: Ryan Moore. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Time: 2:03.76
2013 Shamus Award. Jockey: Chad Schofield. Trainer: Danny O’Brien. Time: 2:05.27
2012 Ocean Park. Jockey: Glen Boss. Trainer: Gary Hennessy. Time: 2:04.14
2011 Pinker Pinker. Jockey: Craig Williams. Trainer: Greg Eurell. Time: 2:05.39
2010 So You Think. Jockey: Steve Arnold. Trainer: J B Cummings. Time: 2:07.45
2009 So You Think. Jockey: Glen Boss. Trainer: J B Cummings. Time: 2:03.98


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