Cox Plate Internationals

Arod

William Hill Australia’s resident tipster, The Wolf, gives his early thoughts on the international runners nominated for the 2015 Cox Plate. You might want to snap up some of the early overs!

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Almodovar ($201)
Trainer: David Lanigan
Prizemoney: $16,618
A three-year-old with only three lifetime starts, and while he has won two of them, they have been in very low grade races. Doubt he will be winning the 2015 Cox Plate!

Arod ($12)
Trainer: Peter Chapple-Hyam
Prizemoney: $546,389
Pictured above. One of the early favourites for the 2015 Cox Plate and not hard to see why. After being tried at the Derby distance last season, he has come back in trip this campaign and run a succession of good races at a mile, most recently being beaten only half a length by Solow, probably the best mile horse in the world. He has the ability to race on the speed, which always helps around Moonee Valley, and his owners have indicated a strong interest in bringing him out here. The major international player this year.

Canndal ($28)
Trainer: Mikel Delzangles
Prizemoney: $56,896
Trained by Mikel Delzangles, who won the 2011 Melbourne Cup with Dunaden, Canndal is a lightly-raced northern hemisphere three year old, but has to this point won a single race from his six starts. Interestingly though, he boasts a second placing at his last start in the Belmont Derby, and last year’s Belmont Derby runner up was subsequent Cox Plate winner Adelaide. He has to do more to establish himself as a serious player still, but if he continues to improve he is a contender.

Collaboration ($101)
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Prizemoney: $111,527
Put three in a row together at the start of this campaign before disappointing in Listed grade at Royal Ascot and then again at Goodwood.

Cougar Mountain ($18)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Prizemoney: $235,054
Obviously highly thought of by Coolmore as he contested an open age Group One at just his second race start, but he has never quite lived up to the hype. He finished third to Solow at Royal Ascot this year but disappointed at subsequent starts in the Eclipse and Sussex Stakes. He is talented but would need to show more to be considered as a chance in the Cox Plate.

Gabrial ($61)
Trainer: Richard Fahey
Prizemoney: $967,879
Owned by the colourful Dr Marwan Koukash, this old handicapper bobbed up to run third at 50-1 behind Solow and Arod in the Sussex Stakes.  That’s the only form this seven-year-old has shown that would be remotely near to a Cox Plate, and he can be safely left out of consideration.

Gailo Chop ($26)
Trainer: Antoine De Watrigant
Prizemoney: $862,382
Australian-owned, French-based four-year-old who is one of the better longshots for this year’s Cox Plate. He finished second to Solow at Longchamp two starts back, and while he disappointed at his next start at Royal Ascot, he had excuses on that occasion. If he comes out here he can definitely be competitive, and at a good price as well.

Goldstream ($26)
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Prizemoney: $522,919
Unbeaten in five Italian starts including the Derby, but Italy is the Far North Queensland of European racing, so don’t be getting too excited. Other horses with Italian Derby form to come out here include Crackerjack King, Wish Come True and Ancient King. Brenton Avdulla will be riding him in the Secretariat Stakes in the USA next weekend, but don’t be rushing to back him for the Cox Plate prior to that.

Guardini ($51)
Trainer: Paul Harley
Prizemoney: $153,129
This grey is yet to race over less than 2200m, and while he does have some useful form in Germany, including a Group Two win over a mile and a half back in May, he won’t be winning the Cox Plate. The Cups would be more suitable for him.

Highland Reel ($26)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Prizemoney: $838,200
From last year’s Cox Plate winning stable, Highland Reel is a high class galloper. He won at Group 2 level over 1400m at two, then finished second in this season’s Prix Du Jockey Club in France, the French Derby equivalent, and while he disappointed when well fancied in the Irish Derby he redeemed himself with a strong win last time out at Goodwood. Has all the credentials to be a major player if he is there on the day.

Lightning Spear ($31)
Trainer: Olly Stevens
Prizemoney: $108,915
The winner of four of his five races, Lightning Spear is an exceptionally talented galloper. His first four wins came outside of black type races, then was second to Arod at Group 2 level last time out, and had no luck whatsoever on that occasion. Yet to be tested beyond a mile but that shouldn’t be a worry around Moonee Valley and he has a real turn of foot. Major contender if he comes out.

Manndawi ($101)
Trainer: Ed Dunlop
Prizemoney: $287,967
Showed plenty of ability as a three-year-old, including a second at Group One level in France, but had a twenty month spell and hasn’t shown anything like that form in two starts since.

Ol’ Man River ($71)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Prizemoney: $164,976
Ol’ Man River was sent out a 6-1 chance in this year’s 2000 Guineas but clocked in officially last of 18, he then finished 21.5 lengths off the winner in the Dante Stakes, before showing a glimpse of form with a fourth placing at Group Two level at Royal Ascot. He obviously has issues of one kind or another and he couldn’t possibly be backed until he shows some of his old form.

Rembrandt Van Rijn ($71)
Trainer: David Lanigan
Prizemoney: $43,066
A dead-set racecaller’s nightmare, Greg Miles will be certainly be hoping this elaborately named galloper doesn’t make the trip down under. He doesn’t have much to worry about though, as even though this gelding has won three in a row this season, they have all been low grade affairs.

Simba ($101)
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Prizemoney: $114,095
A lightly-raced German three-year-old, he has managed a couple of Group Three placings in his native country but hasn’t shown anything like the form necessary to be competitive in a Cox Plate.

Singing ($51)
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Prizemoney: $222,337
Another German galloper, this one finished second to subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist twelve months ago in Hamburg, and all his form suggests that a Cups campaign will be on the agenda as he won’t be up to winning a Cox Plate.

Tullius ($71)
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Prizemoney: $912,253
A seven-year-old winner of ten races, he is several lengths off the top horses in the UK but is capable of winning in Group Two or Group Three level when he gets conditions to suit.

Turfdonna ($51)
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Prizemoney: $503,315
A last start winner of the German Oaks, she is obviously a filly of some promise, but despite the fact that horses with German form have made an impact on the Melbourne Cup of late, it is still one of the weaker race jurisdictions in Europe and she would need to show some form elsewhere before being considered.

Vadamos ($101)
Trainer: Andre Fabre
Prizemoney: $130,150
A last start handicap winner in France, his only start at Group level saw him beaten 16 lengths in a Group Two over a mile and a half. The Cups could be more his go as he has won twice over a mile and a half.

Warrior of Light ($101)
Trainer: David Lanigan
Prizemoney: $37,032
UK prizemoney isn’t great but if you haven’t managed to crack the $40K mark in 11 lifetime starts, you aren’t much of a horse, and there is nothing to suggest that will change anytime soon.

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