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Monday October 22nd 2018

Runner by runner guide to the 2018 Cox Plate

Come Saturday, countless millions of racing fans the world over will be desperate to witness a piece of racing history as Winx attempts to win her 29th straight victory, 22nd group 1 and an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate.

It would be a huge disappointment to the racing world if she is defeated, but with just seven horses standing between her and a fourth Cox Plate, the sell out crowd at Moonee Valley firmly believe her best is yet to come.

Benbatl

Of her rivals we have a fair idea that Benbatl is decent. Saeed bin Suroor's charge surely won new racing fans with his hard fought victory in the Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield a fortnight ago but in truth it was not extraordinary. On the assumption that he will indeed suit the Valley he will need to improve on that run to beat Winx but get real...it's not going to happen.

It's almost impossible to avoid pondering what Humidor almost did the Cox Plate last year but he has lacked a bit of sharpness in the Underwood Stakes and the Ladbrokes Stakes recently. Maybe the wide barrier draw is a cause for optimism so a little place chance might not be a bad way to go.

Kings Will Dream didn’t get a good run in the Caulfield Cup and he will get better with more racing of course but not in our wildest dreams are we expecting that to happen against the likes of Winx or Benbatl at Weight-For-Age level at this stage of his career on Saturday.

Humidor

Avilius brings terrific form to the party with four straight wins in Australia and connections have been putting up with a lot of noise this week about aiming for the Melbourne Cup. He’s an outrageous talent but in line with the bookies odds expect a performance at the tail of the field in preparation for the first Tuesday in November.

Chris Waller and connections have paid up for for D’argento, a fascinating challenger who was narrowly denied in the Epsom Handicap. How he can beat Winx or Benbati looks impossible to fathom but in solidarity with his connections we understand why they did it. Who are we to argue?

Rostropovich may have finished second behind Latrobe in the Irish Derby for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore but a big chunk of improvement from his King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes runs will be needed for the massive upset.

Finally, we wonder whether Savvy Coup is all she's cracked up to be in New Zealand. Winner of the Livamol Classic at Hastings last start she is an exciting prospect who should make up into a genuine Grade 1 performer in Australia but it not going to happen on Saturday is it?

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