Sport

Favourites satisfied with Cox Plate barrier draw

James McDonald rides Hartnell to the barrier for the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington earlier this month.
James McDonald rides Hartnell to the barrier for the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington earlier this month. JULIAN SMITH

CONNECTIONS of the two favourites for Saturday's $3 million Cox Plate emerged from today's barrier draw at Moonee Valley with confidence unabated.

With defending champion Winx to jump from No.3 and emerging Godolphin superstar Hartnell in No.7, both camps were satisfied their chances had not been harmed by the draw for a 10-horse field with no natural pacemaker.

Winx's jockey, Hugh Bowman, told racing.com he was "satisfied” with barrier three.

"There's no real designated leader in the field, so someone's going to have to take it up,” he said.

"From barrier three, I jump from a position where I'm not going to be committed to be making a decision I don't want to make.

"Then again, if it is a really muddily run race and I'm stuck inside horses, it could get awkward for me.

"Ultimately for me, it's about keeping it simple and having the horse comfortable, and if that's the case, she'll be very hard to beat.”

After galloping Winx at the Valley on Saturday morning, trainer Chris Waller sent her around again this morning over 1600m at Breakfast with the Best and was pleased with what he saw.

"Everything's gone to plan with us and that's the most important thing. She is going well,” he said.

"Hugh said she's a natural getting around the track, she just loves it.”

Reaction to the barrier draw was swift with Winx firming from $2 into $1.90 and Hartnell drifting from $2.80 to $3.

Hartnell's trainer John O'Shea was suitably respectful when asked if he was concerned Winx had drawn the three alley.

"I'm concerned she's in the race,” he quipped.

Queried on tactics, O'Shea expected jockey James McDonald would concentrate on getting Hartnell relaxed as he did in taking out the Turnbull Stakes (Group 1, 2000m) by more than three lengths over subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Jameka.

"James was able to let him roll along a little bit for the first couple of furlongs (in the Turnbull) and get him to a nice rhythm,” O'Shea said.

"From gate seven we don't have to be bustling - we can just take out time and have a similar approach.”

"Both him and Bowman are great riders. Both (horses) will get their chances to be effective.”

Topics:  chris waller cox plate hartnell hugh bowman james mcdonald john oshea winx


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Facing up to the music

SOUR NOTE: Scott Cooper at The Mecca.

Lismore Music Festival organisers apologise for event cancellation

NORPA founder brings us Opera Australia

FOR KIDS: James Payne as Troll and Ruth Strutt as Ferdinand in El Kid, Opera Australia's production for primary schools.

El Kid comes to Albert Park Public School

Women's Expo to open the festival

Lismore's Women's Festival.

A day long event for the wellbeing of women in Lismore

Local Partners

Tony Abbott: Coalition in danger of becoming ‘Labor lite’

Tony Abbott has penned a highly critical analysis of the Turnbull Government, highlighting voter “despair” and concerns “the Coalition has become Labor lite.”

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!