Cox Plate Preview
By guest reviewer Todd Burmester
For many Australian’s the race that stops the nation is to be run on the first Tuesday of November. I suggest however that for true equine enthusiasts the race that stops this collective group will be run at Moonee Valley on Saturday afternoon. I speak of course, of The Cox Plate, the Weight for Age Championship of Australiasia.This year it is indeed a true Trans-Tasman clash with the Kiwi Star Jimmy Choux taking on the best Australia can round up, headed in the market by the three-year-old Helmet. Similar to The Caulfield Cup, determining the winner of The Cox Plate is not going to be an easy affair. Jimmy Choux has performed on Australian soil as a three-year-old but he has also failed.  This campaign, so far has been New Zealand based and it is for that reason that I am prepared to risk him come Saturday. He may win but I like to see the Kiwi’s do it over here as older horses before they carry my money. Helmet, the leading Australian chance according to the market could not have been any more impressive in The Caulfield Guineas however statistically he has it up against him with Guineas winners having a poor record when they have lined up in ‘The Plate’. The other question mark in regard to Helmet is where he will get to in the run from a wide barrier. Will they look to lead at all costs as they did last start?  That could be a tough ask in my opinion. Win, lose or draw – Helmet is still a serious racehorse in my opinion. Based on the above I’ll be steering away from the top two in the market and revert to the strategy I often recommend which is to set up a dutch book around the other chances. Secret Admirer could not have been more impressive in The Epsom again statistically she has it against her though with Epsom winners not having a great record here and neither do mares in all honesty. At double figure odds however, I’m prepared to suggest she’s fair value. Glass Harmonium has been a model of consistency right throughout the Brisbane winter and now into the Melbourne Spring. From a good barrier he should go close to finding the lead and I can’t see why he won’t be hard to run down over a distance that appears to be about his optimum. Rekindled Interest was an impressive winner two starts back and was making nice ground in the run to the line last start. He seems to save some of his best form for Moonee Valley and must go in with a leading chance whilst Sincero is somewhat of the forgotten horse I believe. His run last start was not all that bad and after looking well beaten at the 600m he could be seen making good ground in the last part of the race. To summarise, I’ll set up my dutch book around Secret Admirer, Glass Harmonium, Rekindled Interest and Sincero and I am prepared to take on Jimmy Choux and Helmet. As always it will be a great race – who said a couple of months back that we were in for a sub-par Cox Plate?  Such does not exist this weekend.