10/24/2012 3:56PM

Australia: Pierro, Green Moon head Cox Plate


Led by the outstanding 3-year-old Pierro and the improving older horse Green Moon, Saturday’s $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Australia has drawn an outstanding field of 14 in the country’s weight-for-age championship.

Run over about 1 1/4 miles on turf, the Group 1 Cox Plate could produce runners for the two-mile Melbourne Cup on Nov. 6. Of the 14 entrants in the Cox Plate, 10 have won Group 1 races.

Pierro, a winner of 7 of 8 starts, is one of three 3-year-olds in the field. Pierro won his first seven starts, but was second to All Too Hard in the Caulfield Guineas on Oct. 13. As of Wednesday, Pierro was the 3-1 favorite for the Cox Plate. He will carry 109 pounds, 21 fewer than the older horses. All Too Hard also is part of the Cox Plate field.

Green Moon was the 7-2 second choice in future-book betting. A 5-year-old Irish-bred by Montjeu, Green Moon won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Racecourse on Oct. 6. He was second in the prestigious Caulfield Cup in 2011.

There will be support for Ocean Park, a 4-year-old New Zealand-bred colt by Thorn Park. Ocean Park has won his last three starts, all at the Group 1 level since early September – the Makfi Challenge Stakes in New Zealand and the Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes in Australia.

The Cox Plate is part of a nine-race program that includes six group stakes.

Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
The pre-Cox Plate show had a little drama between top Australian owner John Singleton and top trainer Gai Waterhouse, after Waterhouse on Tuesday chose post position 11 out of posible 14 for Singleton's horse, More Joyous. In the Cox Plate draw, which took place on Tuesday, Racing Victoria chief stewards Terry Bailey draws a marble representing each runner from a barrel. A representative from that horse then gets to choose the barrier (post position), from those unallocated, they wish to start from. On Tuesday More Joyous was the first horse drawn and Waterhouse strode up nonchallantly onto the stage showing her dazzling figure while onlookers stared at her unblinked, expecting her to choose a good post position, which most people think it is between post position 4 to 7. In the Cox Plate post position does matter and 5, 6 or 7 are the most ideal post positions for any horse. So onlookers and rival trainers were expecting Waterhouse to choose a 6 or maybe a 7 for her horse, More Joyous. With 14 options, she elected post position 11. You can imagine the surprise look on the onlookers' face starring at Waterhouse as she walked back to her seat. Jaws were dropped in amazed by the onlookers, especially rival trainers. The day after the draw owner John Singleton vented his frustration at Waterhouse by telling the reporter of the Daily Telegraph of his displeasure, and to protest Ms Waterhouse further, he says he doubts he will be at Moonee Valley on Saturday to see his prized mare More Joyous run in the Cox Plate after trainer Gai Waterhouse elected to launch the mare over the 2040 metre trip from barrier 11. He's very angry at Ms Waterhouse. "I love Gai but this is bloody madness," Singleton told the Daily Telegraph. "If this was a normal race and not the Cox Plate, the horse would be scratched and the trainer sacked! [meaning fired!] "I instructed my racing manager Duncan Grimley to tell Gai to get barrier four to six if possible. "Gai didn't need to pick that barrier. It's absolutely ridiculous, no one in the world thinks this is a good barrier." "This isn't death, it is suicide. It will be almost impossible for her to win now. "The bookies aren't idiots, she is out to $13 and will probably end up $20 on raceday. I'm absolutely gutted - I doubt I'll even bother going now." All Too Hard is Black Caviar's 3y0 little brother. Despite the bad draw I still like More Joyous, however, this is her prep race for the Melbourne Cup on Nov 6. Ms Waterhouse probably is not tighteneing her up to the max at this point and the next race she'll fully cranked her up to face the big boys.