Sportingbet Cox Plate Nominations
Four horses earmarked to fill the shoes of Black Caviar as the headline act at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival lead an impressive list of 155 nominations for the Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).
Unbeaten superstars Atlantic Jewel and Pierro are joined by four-time Group 1 winner Mosheen and glamour Sydney mare More Joyous amongst the entries for the 2012 edition of Australia’s $3 million weight-for-age championship.
To be run on Saturday, 27 October, the Cox Plate spearheads a new two-day Carnival at Moonee Valley that will also feature the Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) the night prior.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC), in conjunction with Racing Victoria (RV), have been working hard to increase the international profile of the Cox Plate and have been rewarded with 18 international entries – the most in the past five years.
After claiming the past two Emirates Melbourne Cups, French trainers have cast their eye further afield with six entries including 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, his French Derby-winning stablemate Reliable Man and recent Australian purchase Prairie Star.
Dubai World Cup placegetter Planteur, who has been issued an all expenses paid invitation to contest the race, is one of two first-time entries for UK-based Italian trainer Marco Botti. The other is Australian-owned Italian Group 1 winner Crackerjack King.
Last weekend's Goodwood (UK) feature winner Quest For Peace is one of two entries for regular visitor Luca Cumani, while Andrew Balding has entered Side Glance, a recent placegetter behind Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sunday's German Oaks winner Salomina, who is now owned in Australian interests, is another nomination of note, whilst Brown Panther, the horse owned by English soccer star Michael Owen creates plenty of interest too.
The most intriguing of the international nominations is USA entry Richard's Kid, a multiple Group 1 winner who has raced extensively on dirt for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Along with the internationally-trained entries, a string of imported horses feature amongst the nominations including the Dubai Australian Cup winner Manighar who was a revelation for trainer Peter Moody in the autumn and is exempt from the ballot.
Melbourne Cup placegetter Lucas Cranach, fellow German import Mawingo and recent Argentinian acquisition Val Champ feature amongst the entries for Anthony Freedman, whilst John Sadler has nominated four-time USA Group 1 winner Winchester.
Hall of Fame Legend Bart Cummings' chances of winning a sixth Cox Plate rest with German-bred pair Illo and Sanagas, the latter a Group 1 winner in the USA who is yet to debut in Australia.
Amongst the notable local nominations are BMW Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed, Cox Plate placegetter Rekindled Interest, Melbourne Cup winner Efficient, Mackinnon Stakes winner Glass Harmonium and the classy mares King's Rose, Lights Of Heaven and Secret Admirer.
Four-year-olds of note outside of Atlantic Jewel and Mosheen include Sydney star Manawanui – a winner of the AAMI Vase on Cox Plate Day last year, AJC Derby winner Ethiopia, who is exempt from the ballot, and Queensland Derby winner Brambles.