Connections pick their barriers for Saturday’s Cox Plate

Scott Mcglynn
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
Connections pick their barriers for Saturday’s Cox Plate

2040m stands between 12 runners and a place in history as the $5m Cox Plate barrier draw is made.

News Insights

  • Mr Brightside with a handy inside gate
  • Hong Kong raider will start from 7
  • Star Sydney mare gets the 9 barrier
  • Zaaki gets the worst of the draw

The online betting providers can start properly shaping up the Cox Plate market now that the barrier draw has been made. We look at the 12 runners and where they will start the race to see if anything catches the eye.

The barrier draw for the Cox Plate is always interesting, with connections allowed to pick their preferred slot when they are pulled out of the hat. The widest draw in 12 has never held a Cox Plate winner, so it is no surprise that the final horse out of the hat was stuck with that starting position. 

Inside Barriers

1 - Duais - Third in the Underwood and Might And Power on his last two starts, both times behind horses who reoppose. The inside barrier might not be ideal for one who is held up in his races. 

2 - Mr Brightside - No match for Fangirl when they met in the King Charles III Stakes at Randwick. That was on her turf in Sydney, and this is on his in Melbourne. Should do better this time.

3 - Militarize - A much better barrier than he suffered in the Caulfield Guineas last time. That was a strong run, and although he has to prove himself over a new distance, there is a significant weight allowance for a three-year-old.

4 - My Oberon - Has come up short at the top level at Randwick so far this prep, including a couple of times from a decent draw. He has to prove his stamina for this trip so others make a stronger case.

Middle Barriers

5 - Alligator Blood - Couldn’t get the lead in this race last year when stuck out in 12. He has a much kinder barrier to work from now, but he has yet to show his very best form at this track, which is a slight concern.

6 - Victoria Road - Has the draw that has held three of the last five Cox Plate winners, which has seen his price collapse. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November, so the quicker the ground, the better he’ll like it.

7 - Romantic Warrior - Hong Kong raider was a flop on his Australian debut in the Turnbull. The middle draw will allow him to take a handy position early, and he was always going to need the initial experience away from Hong Kong.

8 - Gold Trip - No stranger to strapping his armour back on and returning to battle quickly. 2000m on a sharp track like this are not his ideal conditions. He was only 9th in this last year before his Melbourne Cup win.

Wide Barriers

9 - Fangirl - Brilliant mare when everything falls right for her over 1600m as it did at Randwick last time. A wide barrier won’t affect this hold-up performer, who is worth trying at this trip.

10 - King Colorado - Has run better than the final positions suggest so far this prep. A new trip and a wide barrier ask him questions to which he may not have the answers.

11 - Pinstriped - He is a solid performer in his grade but has yet to convince that he is a Group 1 class performer. A wide barrier is not going to be a help to him, so he looks set for a struggle.

12 - Zaaki - 4th from the innermost barrier in 2022 - he has his work cut out from the widest slot, a barrier yet to win the race. Front-runner will have to burn up serious fuel to get a position.

It is a smart-looking field for the 2023 Cox Plate, a race where the barrier draw often plays a big part. It looks like an open renewal with several stars who combine to make this a fascinating contest on Saturday afternoon.