Chris Waller’s classy trio holds the key for 2015 Cox Plate glory

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2015 Cox Plate

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2015 Cox PlateCHAMPION trainer Chris Waller believes he has the 2015 Cox Plate covered with his triple threat of quality runners this Saturday.

The $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate to be held at Moonee Valley this Saturday has a field of 14 which includes Kermadec, Preferment and star mare Winx for Waller, who believes not matter which way the race is run, at least one of his runners will be suited.

“This is definitely the strongest hand I’ve ever had coming into a Cox Plate,” Waller said. “I haven’t got one rated ahead of the others, it really will depend on how the race is run.”

Bookmakers are finding it tough to separate both Winx ($6.50) and once favourite Kermadec ($7.50), but Preferment is paying a good each way price of $13 at Sportsbet.com.au.

“A really tough Cox Plate would suit Preferment and I expect that to be the case with The Cleaner leading and others applying pressure.

“If the pace happens to back off mid-race that will suit Winx. She probably has the best sprint out of my three.”

That sprint Winx possesses was no more evident than when it won the 2015 Epsom Handicap last start. The beaten brigade haven’t amounted to much and punters are questioning its level of opposition throughout its entire career, but its win have been extremely impressive and all it can do is win.

Jockey Hugh Bowman chose to ride Winx over Preferment which should give punters confidence ahead of the world’s greatest weight-for-age event.

“Preferment can sustain a long gallop but he can’t move like Winx can,” Bowman said.

“She’s got that excellent turn of foot and that could be the difference between winning and losing.

“I’m anticipating a strongly run race so I’m hoping that doesn’t negate her turn of foot.”

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Blake Shinn was down to ride Perferment, before copping a suspension on Sunday at Seymour. Shinn rode the Derby winner in trackwork on Tuesday morning.

“You could feel it with him,” Shinn said. “He’s starting to know raceday is coming.

“He was very sharp. He handles the track no worries so I’ve got no concerns about that.

“He’s going to run a hell of a race. I wish I was on him.”

Preferment worked over 1200 metres with a final 400 metres in a time of 25.11 seconds – 51 seconds slower than Kermadec which ran over 1000 metres.

“The middle of the road horse is Kermadec,” Waller added. “A normally run Cox Plate, without being a really tough one would suit him best.”

Kermadec was the Cox Plate favourite earlier this season, but its last start effort in Melbourne caused concern for its backers.

In the saddle with by Glen Boss who has ridden three Cox Plate winners and he won aboard Kermadec in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap in April.

“Chris [Waller] has had this race in mind from the get-go,” Boss said.

“When I rode him first-up I said he gave me the feel of a mile-and-a-quarter horse.

“He did feel the firm ground at Caulfield. He’s a couple of lengths better horse if he gets his toe into the ground which he’s going to get here.”

There is some rain forecast throughout the week, but the track will likely be good to dead come race day.

Updated 2015 Cox Plate market

1. Criterion – $6
2. Fawkner – $16
3. Happy Trails – $21
4. Hartnell – $15
5. Mourinho – $31
6. The Cleaner – $17
7. Pornichet – $34
8. Arod – $9
9. Complacent – $17
10. Gailo Chop – $26
11. Kermadec – $7.50
12. Preferment – $13
13. Highland Reel – $5.50
14. Winx – $6.50

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