The Cox Plate will take centre stage, and as one of the most iconic meetings on the Australian Racing Calendar, it is set to be the highlight of the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival. Having already achieved enormous success this year, claiming victories in the Doncaster Handicap, Warwick Stakes and Caulfield Stakes among others, reigning champion Winx will once again be looking to come out on top. Moonee Valley has a full day of racing which includes many other exciting race cards, while action from Randwick and Canterbury will also provide punters with opportunities to back their favourites.
WILLIAM HILL COX PLATE – 2400M – 05.00PM
There is no better place to start than the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, in what is undoubtedly the race that many have been waiting for all spring. Although backing odds-on favourites often seems a predictable thing to do, when Winx is involved it is understandable. She destroyed all before her to claim glory last year, and given her form in 2016, it would take a monumental run from elsewhere to upstage Chris Waller’s prized asset. With Winx proven around the track at Moonee Valley, and with conditions and the barrier draw certainly suiting the famous five-year-old, even major rival Hartnell will have to settle for second best. Like Winx, Hartnell has three successive wins at weight-for-age in recent weeks, however even trainer John O’Shea must realise the task ahead of him this weekend. As far as a potential outsider is concerned, the likes of Yankee Rose, Hauraki and Vadamos could all push Hartnell close behind Winx, all of whom have performed well this spring.
Betting Tips for William Hill Cox Plate:
Outright – Winx
Each-Way – Hauraki
ANTLER LUGGAGE MOONEE VALLEY GOLD CUP – 2500M – 04.10PM
With Prince of Penzance finishing second in last year’s race before going on to win the Melbourne Cup just weeks later, many will be hoping to follow in such famous footsteps. There is no doubting that Gallante will be the favourite for this one, with Robert Hickmott’s outstanding horse known for his durability over such distances. Having finished runner up to Jameka in the Naturalism Stakes last time around, it could well be another success for the six-year-old. Although he will certainly be hard to beat, it is by no means a sure thing, with Excess Knowledge, Who Shot Thebarman and debutant Second Wave all in line to capitalise in the event of an upset. Second Wave has been in good form for Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin stable this season, and could well mark his Australian debut with a win.
Betting Tips for Moonee Valley Gold Cup:
Outright – Gallante
Each-Way – Second Wave
ALCONEX FIRE HANDICAP – 1400M – 04.35PM
The David Pfieffer trained Dixie Chick was unlucky to finish only as a runner up last time around, and despite undoubtedly still having plenty of room to improve, is rightly listed as the favourite for this one. Elsewhere, despite Daysee Doom having three wins at 1100m, she should still go well over an extended distance, and should be in contention in the final stages. Meanwhile, Sort After won impressively at Warwick Farm last time around, and along with the runner up of the same race Euro Angel, could both be in with a shout of another success on Saturday. Finally, having won three from seven, and with the advantage of the inside gate, Heavenly Anna is another horse who could surprise many, in a field packed with potential winners.
Betting Tips for Alconex Fire Handicap:
Outright – Dixie Chick
Each-Way – Sort After
If none of these tips take your fancy, then full racing cards at the likes of Ascot, Eagle Farm and Morphetville should provide plenty of opportunities to win big on your favourites, with Caipirinha in the Belgravia Stakes at Ascot looking like a good bet on Saturday. Meanwhile, both Super Suave and Smart Devil are among the favourites in the $60,000 Superior Pak QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap at Eagle Farm.