Wednesday, October 21, 2009


1. EL SEGUNDO (13) 59 Luke Nolen $15

Captain: He loves the Valley and won this race in commanding fashion in 2007 after a close segundo in 2006. In both those preparations, his form wavered somewhat in his run(s) prior to the Cox Plate. I'm guessing the same thing is going on here though it's appeared a little more alarming. The word is he got struck in the eye by a horseshoe, or as Rabs Warren might put it, "an iron bar of some description" in the Turnbull. If that's the case, then it was probably a pretty good effort. Just can't rule a line through him, I expect Little to have him sharper for this at his favourite track/distance.

Professor: I landed a big bet on this guy in the 2007 version of this race so there's some history and love here. It starts at the top. Starting from the top the theme that I'm going to hammer here is that there are a number of live chances in this one - whilst there isn't a Northerly in this bunch - the Cox is actually pretty deep. It started it's prep looking in the form of its career and has tapered off a little since but on its day it can win this.

2. ZIPPING (2) 59 Steven Arnold $17

Captain: Lloyd Williams has been talking ol' Zipping up a bit in the press so we can't take him too lightly. All I'll say is that last year was one of the weakest, if not the weakest Cox Plate field in history, and he couldn't run down Maldivian who was out of form at the time.

Professor: Pity I can't find an early Mackinnon market because that's its race for me. Probably not going well enough to trouble them this time, though the Williams horses have a way of popping up when you least expect them at this time of year so I won't say no, I just won't be betting on this.

3. VISION AND POWER (4) 59 Hugh Bowman $15

Captain: On his Doncaster winning form, he can win this. Takes forever to come into form but think he's there now. I like V & P because he reminds me of two of my heroes, T & P. "Say Terrance"..."yes Phillip"..."would you like a monkey claw?!". Sometimes racing makes sense like this. Anyways, I reckon he'll run well, not sure if he'll be winning, but he'll be somewhere thereaboots bud-dy.

Professor: Absolute knockout horse in this. Has taken a long time to get any sort of race fitness in this prep but should be at the top of its game here. Nice run in the Turnbull and even if it doesn't rain probably deserves to be at about $10 rather than the juicy $18s you can and should be snapping up right now. The monkey claw is smelly.

4. NOM DE JEU (5) 59 Michael Rodd $71

Captain: Been a little disappointing this prep but has the big plus of the cunning Rodd on board. Would never think that he is a better chance to win a Cox Plate than a Caulfield Cup. But Rodd has got plenty of roughies home before...

Professor: Doesn't look to be going well enough this prep. I'll be looking for a sign that it can figure in the Melbourne Cup but that's the only interest for me here.

5. SCENIC SHOT (6) 59 Shane Scriven $14

Captain: There's nothing like dropping a few big notes on this fella during the Brisbane Winter Carnival; it's money in the bank. $5 on the Shot to win the Doomben Cup? Yes please. $5 on the Shot to win the Brisbane Cup? Yes please, and some. He'll probably head back to the Farm next year and take out another Brisbane Cup with 65kg. I would have really liked to have seen him in the Caulfield Cup with not much weight, think he could have parked somewhere in that leading bunch and might have given it a shake. His Turnbull run was very good and on that, he's got to be some chance.

Professor: I would have smashed this in the Caulfield Cup based on its lead up work in the Turnbull. Didn't go for that race. Isn't entered in the Melbourne Cup. Those were the two I thought it could win. This is kind of a hollow feeling for me. When your favourite horse has his first tilt at Spring glory in an unsuitable race it's a lot like sitting through a rubbish comedy festival waiting for the Doug Anthony All Stars reunion only to see them play throw your arms around me instead of I fuck dogs. 2040 at Moonee Valley seems unsuitable but D Morton is Australian racings most unappreciated genius and if this was the target, fucked if I won't back it. Then I read today about it being the target of a massive bet and I know I'm seeing what I should be. Of the true stayers in this race, I'd take this above Speed Gifted or Zipping any day.

6. BLACK PIRANHA (8) 59 Tye Angland $16

Captain: A long and arduous Autumn/Winter campaign has this guy crying out for the paddock methinks. You look at it's form through the Easter Carnival in Sydney, through to the Stradbroke and there is just no comparison to what he's showing at the moment. $16 doesn't represent any great value to me, particularly when he's untried at the trip.

Professor: Captain and I are split on this horse. I think it's cherry ripe here and represents some fine value at the $16 mark. The Captain thinks it hasn't come back. I think it's gut busting run with 60 kg first up has taken a while to wear off and I'll be thinking long and hard (hee hee) about this one on race day. Got to say the Toorak run was unlucky and with a decent passage he wins that race easily.

7. SIR SLICK (11) 59 Michelle Payne *Write Your Own Ticket*

Captain: Some people have too much money on their hands. The connections of this horse have squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in acceptance fees for races that he has absolutely no chance of winning. They could have taken some orphans around the world in a hot air balloon, visited starving kids in Africa or built a Centre For Kids Who Can't Read Good; but no, they said fuck you to the unfortunate kids of the world, we want to lead the Cox Plate for 1200m.

Professor: They'll call just about anyone Sir these days. Likely to run a 2:01 according to his bat-shit crazy owner who I'm sure sells discount Persian rugs as his day job.

8. ROAD TO ROCK (1) 59 Glyn Schofield $26

Captain: Sounds more like an AC/DC album title than a Cox Plate runner. But seriously, this is the first time ever where I could respect A J Cummings for talking up a stable roughie. His form is pretty good and his name is not Red Lord or Zavite in a Caulfield Cup. He has run some very solid races in Group 1 WFA company. He's also had a few good looks at the Valley track. Roughie of choice for bogans here. "For Road about to Rock........

Fire! We salute you!".

Professor: At $41 in early markets. Yes please. Forget it ran in the Epsom where it clearly couldn't swim. Yep. I'm on this one each way.

9. SPEED GIFTED (12) 59 Dwayne Dunn $10

Captain: Should have run in the Caulfield Cup. Yeah, we're stilled pissed.

Professor: Should have run in the Caulfield Cup. Yeah, we're stilled pissed.

10. WHOBEGOTYOU (10) 57.5 Damien Oliver $3

Captain: Loves the Valley. Neigh, is a monster at the Valley. Loves the trip. Barring bad luck, a sloppy ride, or a Savabeel-esque finish from Manhattan Rain, he wins. But this is racing. Naturalism was the shortest price Cox Plate favourite that I can remember in 1992; he fell. That said, WBGY drifting out to $3 is enough to start getting me tempted for a massive plunge...

Professor: Deserved favourite but opening at $2.70, came up too short in a race of this quality. There are any number of sources for you to read a puff piece about this horse so I'll leave it at that.

11. HEART OF DREAMS (3) 57.5 Craig Newitt $5.50

Captain: Just as Road To Rock sounds like an Acca Dacca anthem, Heart Of Dreams sounds like it could have been a gay cowboy ballad for these guys:

"Just like eeeevery gay cowboy, sings a saaad, sad song..."

I'm not that interested. He's no value here, $5.50 second favourite at WBGY's favourite track? He'll run well but ultimately, WBGY is the better horse, particularly at the Valley.

Professor: Early winner of the 2009 WHAB battle of the words but I won't be having it in the Cox.

12. ROCK KINGDOM (9) 57.5 Nash Rawiller $17

Captain: Gai paid the $130,000 late entry fee at the urgings of husband Robbie (see Fine Cotton Affair). So "Rock Kingdom" might not actually be Rock Kingdom here, but instead a secret super-clone of betting...seriously though, his form is alright but he just doesn't do it for me. Watch betting...

Professor: Not for me. Won a terrible Epsom in the middle of a flash flood and that's the best it's gone so not for me.

13. MANHATTAN RAIN (14) 49.5 Craig Williams $21

Captain: Maybe. Not sure he's the best 3.y.o to contest the Cox but 49.5kg and sound form says maybe. Outside gate could be the biggest problem, but if he can track Sir Slick into the race for the first 1200m and then avoid the speedbump that was Sir Slick, then maybe he could just do it.

Professor: I'm not usually a fan of the three-year-olds in this race but this is the kind of horse that I might make an exception for. As Gai constantly reminds us, this is a three year old in a five year olds body. It's chubby. Ah Gai, if I was fifty years older. It was raining. Not normal rain. Chubby Rain.

14. SO YOU THINK (7) 49.5 Glen Boss $12

Captain: Bart is not so smug here, in fact I believe he has said that he'd be surprised if this wins. Had an excursion to the outside fence at his first gallop at the Valley earlier in the week, and on that alone, I'll pass. $12?! Are you serious? On what basis? His Guineas run? Fuck me.

Professor: Boss/Cummings. I hear Adolf Hitler is the strapper for this one so the true axis of evil is involved. The likelihood of me giving a balanced view on this is minimal but I'm sure it will have fans. According to the paper of record, Glen Boss is still getting the Sydney daggers out of his back and Bart Cummings is smarter than Jesus. So You Think I want to throw up if it wins?

PROFESSOR: I'm not going to give a top four, more a value four here. I think if you are a value punter you'd want to work around 1-3-5-6-8 & 13. That's all I've got. I'll nominate Black Piranha as my top value bet for this one from Vision and Power and Chubby Rain. Scenic Shot for sentimental reasons and Road to Rock the out and out roughie that has to be worth a little bit of each way currency. This may all get thrown out the window if in the mounting yard I see a twinkle in old El Segundo's eye.

CAPTAIN: Just can't go past Whobegotyou. I'm not going to do that thing where you're sure a certain horse is going to win and talk yourself into other "value" runners, because at the end of the day, "value" means nothing if it doesn't win.

1. Whobegotyou
2. Speed Gifted
3. El Segundo

Working around those with Scenic Shot, Road To Rock and V & P.


JB said...

Nice post boys, well done. this is the second attempt at leaving this comment (damn vista). To summarise, needs a big horse to win this race. WBGY doesn't seem to have the strength in races with more than 12 horses. For same reason scratch through all the young guns. El segundo should win this but this prep is far from impressive. Scenic shot and zipping are two big strong horses that love the cox. My money is on these two to roll down Whobe and the other, flashier horses

Professor Chaos said...

Long time listener, first time caller, eh JB! I'll take V&P for the same reasons you've outlined. Scenic Shot is a big chance. Not as keen on Zipping.

I'm working around SS, VP ES and Manhattan Rain.

Love to see whobegotyou and Heart of Dreams flop.

Captain Carnage said...

Fuck. I'll never back a 3yo to win a Cox, and I'll always be a surly asshole after a 3yo Cox Plate victory. Fucking Bart. Yeah, "I'd be totally fucking surprised if So you Think wins". I just can't get a read on the smug/not smug old coot. Anyway, what are ya gonna do, I'll never back a 3yo in a Cox, I abhor you Savabeel and So You Think...thankfully, the Cat/Mic Mac quinella made some fucking sense...

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