THE PUNTING MONOLOGUE "AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS SPECIAL LISTEN

Cox Plate Preview

Cox plate day is here and what a field we have. It’s grand final day for Australia’s Weight for Age superstars and boy are the stars sent to shine. Anamoe looks to go one better than last year, and Zaaki returns for his connections after the 2021 favourites late scratching heartbreak. The in form I’m Thunderstruck looks to set The Valley alight or will it yet again be an international taking Australia’s most famous Mile and2 furlong contest overseas? Here’s my full field cox plate preview.

Zaaki has been consistent enough is his Victorian runs without breaking through. Was third in the Might and Power Stakes behind Anamoe and I’m Thunderstruck and will need to improve a little to outrun them here. Will get a soft lead which will benefit him greatly and won’t have to leave the rails after drawing barrier 1. Was last year’s favourite before being scratched in the morning and will be looking to prove his class here again this year. Will be in it until the finish and is a genuine contender.

I’m Thunderstruck has been super this preparation and has been ultra-consistent against the best weight-for-age horses this country has to offer. Draws wide here but I think that will benefit him as he does race in the back half of the field. Won’t need to rely on luck or getting out and should find a back to follow in the last three furlongs. Has had one start at The Valley for a win and will be flying home over the top. Each way chance here.

Alligator Blood has a lot against him here. Wasn’t convinced he ran the 2000m last start when he was very weak late and draws the carpark making life all the more difficult. Will have a lot of work to do to turn the tables on a few of these and would rather watch.

Mr Brightside might be the one to surprise a few here. He ran on well last start and was sensational three starts back here when winning The Feehan Stakes. The wide draw won’t affect him and will be chasing down the leaders. Potential place chance.

Mo’unga continues to be very hit-and-miss. Was good first and second up before being extremely disappointing last start when he didn’t quicken at all. Was fourth in this race last year but I think this year is a much more competitive race and can’t see him upsetting the big guns.

Gold Trip comes here off the back of a very good second in the Caulfield Cup where he was narrowly beaten. This is a much tougher race though and don’t think the drop in distance will be to his benefit.

Laws of Indices was good in the Toorak but meets a much tougher field here. Rises to 2000m for the first time but is hard to have against this field. Happy to watch here and see if can make a move late.

Young Werther has run well both first and second up. Struggles to win though and faces a tough test here. Maps for a tricky run and would rather watch.

Maximal is another horse who struggles to win. Was good in the Turnbull behind Smokin’ Romans but faces a big jump here. Will need to be very dry for him to be competitive and will need a lot to go right to get a crack at them late.

Anamoe is the clear on top. He’s probably the best horse in the country at the moment and will be extremely hard to bet here. He was beaten narrowly last year and looks prominent to go one better this year. He’s undefeated this preparation collecting three Group 1’s along the way and will get a lovely run just in behind the speed here in the box seat. Cummings and McDonald are on fire and will be hard to catch here again. Clear on top hope.

Profondo just simply hasn’t been racing well this preparation and finds a much tougher contest here. Maps very tricky here and is hard to have being competitive.

El Bodegon has his first Australian start for his new trainer Chris Waller. Most recent run he was third behind the Melbourne Cup favourite and prior to that has a string of Group 1 placings. Will settle on speed from a midfield draw and does race well fresh. Will be in the finish.

On top hope is the champion Anamoe with Zaaki and I’m Thunderstruck in for the minors with the raider El Bodegon in for fourth in the Cox Plate.

Punt on this race here

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