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.

First Fire firing on all cylinders

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart were all smiles after a win at the Casino greyhounds meeting on Tuesday night. PHOTO: TARRAH VANDERSTOK

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart all smiles at Casino

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Councillors vote 8-0 not to support development application

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

Local Partners

Ten awesome things to do this week

THE list includes from Mr Beef in Casino to Byron Bay Rugby, plus some great classic music event and other community events.

Joseph's biblical return to Ballina

LEADING ROLE: Award-winning actor Brian Pamphilon as Joseph.

Ballina Players upcoming production

First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

You can see him in Ballina this weekend

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!