The times have been crunched and here are the standout performances from Cox Plate day 2023.
The highest rated victory across Moonee Valley and Randwick was Romantic Warrior, according to ratings experts Punting Form.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Romantic Warrior wins epic Cox Plate.
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TRACK PATTERN – MOONEE VALLEY
Our Trackwalker Info was spot on with 9 of the 10 races won by horses in lanes 3 to 6.
Three leaders held on and won.
Only one horse came from further back than 2.9 lengths off the lead at the 600m. That was Skybird who came from 5.4 lengths off Grinzinger Belle to win the Fillies Classic [1600m].
WHO WAS HOT AT MOONEE VALLEY?
The standout non-equine performance of the day was certainly jockey Mark Zahra, who rode four winners; Bold Bastille, Prowess, Apulia and Archo Nacho.
James McDonald celebrates after winning the Cox Plate. Credit: Getty Images
ROMANTIC WARRIOR – 1st Cox Plate [2040m]
His winning time of 2:23.04 was 5.2 lengths faster than Cox Plate average. His rating from the Turnbull Stakes lifted around four lengths, while Gold Trip regressed about half a length. He will take a stack of beating in the Hong Kong Cup.
SKYBIRD – 1st Fillies’ Classic [1600m]
The fact she was able to come from 5.4 lengths off the lead at the 600m when no other winner came from further back than 2.9 lengths tells you this filly has a monster finish. Her last 400m was 4.6 lengths faster than average for this class and her final 200m ranked 2nd for the meeting. She could be anything and looks the one to beat in the Thousand Guineas.
BOLD BASTILLE – 1st Inglis Banner [1000m]
This restricted race often lacks quality but this year’s edition might prove different. The winner has gone 2.2 lengths faster than average and the numbers say he could’ve gone quicker. His last 200m was 2.6 lengths faster than average. This means until the home straight he was behind average time but has belted the clock late indicating a faster tempo would’ve produced a faster overall time.
IMPERATRIZ – 1st Manikato Stakes [1200m]
Dominant victory from this Kiwi mare but the numbers are suggesting her opposition didn’t turn up here. She’s rated a length or two slower than what she did at her first two runs this prep and the overall time of 1:09.56 is bang on G1 average. What does that say about her rivals?
SALTAIRE – 2nd Listed Crockett Stakes [1200m]
Was 4.5 lengths off the lead at the 600m and ran the best last 400m and 200m of the entire day but still couldn’t reel in Gumdrops. Her final 200m was a scintillating 5.6 lengths faster than average for 3yo fillies.
Keen to take her on in the Champions Sprint as the data is saying she could rate down again and the $1.70 quote looks skinny.
The race shape for the Crockett Stakes reminds us of the Caulfield Stakes. There we really liked Apulia on the back-up into the Moonee Valley Vase, which he won firming from $11 into $4.60. Back Saltaire in any race over the next 10 days, she might get her chance in the Red Roses during Cup week.
TRACK PATTERN – RANDWICK
All 10 winners used lanes 3 to 7 making this area the Sweet Spot. No leaders won.
All 10 winners were between 1.6 and 4.1 lengths off the lead at the 600m.
WHO WAS HOT AT RANDWICK?
Chris Waller stole training honours saddling up three winners – Pervade, Espiona, Chrysaor
Tyler Schiller pinched riding honours also with a treble – Zeyrek, Crysaor, Gringotts
ESPIONA 1st The Invitation [1400m]
She’s run her first 800m 1 length faster than average for this class and come home her last 600m 1.2 lengths faster than average.
NINGALOO STAR – 4th Midway Hcp [1100m]
The field went through the first 500m 3.5 lengths slower than average for this class and straightening up Ningaloo Star was 6.6 lengths off the lead. The leaders had too much energy up their sleeve and this galloper has done a terrific job reeling off the fastest last 600, 400 and 200m of the day.
Back Ningaloo Star in a Midway Hcp next start.
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