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79 first acceptances for 2017 Cox Plate
12 Sep 2017 | Racing Victoria 
Reigning champion Winx and 10 notable internationals remain in contention for this year’s $3.05m, Group 1 WFA Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley following the closure of first acceptances on Tuesday.

A total of 79 first acceptances were taken by Racing Victoria (RV) for the Cox Plate, which closed alongside first acceptances for the $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m). Caulfield’s three-year-old Group 1 features drew 119 and 91 acceptances respectively.

The Chris Waller-trained Winx – who is an odds-on favourite to win her third Cox Plate - has not deterred international interest in the race with Ireland’s 2014-winning trainer Aidan O’Brien declaring five runners among the first acceptors headlined by Group 1 winner Deauville.

The remaining five international acceptors comprise two horses from Saeed bin Suroor’s Godolphin stable (Prize Money and Best Solution) and one each from Charlie Appleby (Folkswood), Willie Mullins (Riven Light) and Jane Chapple-Hyam (Kaspersky).

While Japanese-trained Neorealism and O’Brien’s Highland Reel were withdrawals as expected, RV Executive General Manager Racing - Greg Carpenter said their absence had done little to detract from the interest in this year’s race.

“The build up to this year’s Cox Plate is like none we have ever seen before with Winx shooting for an historic third consecutive victory to join Kingston Town as the only three-time winner of the race,” Carpenter said.

“It will be fantastic to see Winx return to the amphitheatre of The Valley, and we look forward to seeing her take on a host of top class international and domestic competitors in what is shaping as one of the great highlights of the Spring Racing Carnival.

“We’re continuing to liaise with the international stables to see which horses will travel down under, while we’re also eager to see which of the 18 Australian three-year-olds can emerge over the next month to provide a challenge to Winx.”

$3.05 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) – The Valley, Saturday, 28 October 2017

Click here to view the first round acceptances

There is a total of 79 first acceptors for the Cox Plate, including 22 three-year-olds of which four are from the northern hemisphere.

The notable Australian three-year-olds that remain in the hunt include Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy – one of six three-year-old fillies within – and the unbeaten Royal Symphony, the rising star of Tony McEvoy’s stable.

The 10 internationals still in contention represents an increase on the average of eight international first acceptors across the last four years.

The Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Kaspersky, which bounced back to form last week with a runner-up finish in the Group 3 Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock (UK), is among the list, as are the northern hemisphere three-year-olds Best Solution and the Aidan O’Brien trio of Taj Mahal, Lancaster Bomber and Cliffs Of Moher.

O’Brien has two other runners accepted in Deauville, the winner of last year’s Group 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes in America, and Johannes Vermeer, winner of the Group 1 Criterium International in France as a two-year-old.

Second acceptances for the Cox Plate will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

Winx and Hugh Bowman leading the field in the 2016 Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2400m) at The Valley, picture

$2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) – Caulfield, Saturday, 14 October 2017

Click here to view the first round acceptances

Unbeaten duo Royal Symphony (Tony McEvoy) and Merchant Navy (Ciaron Maher), along with Blue Diamond-winning filly Catchy (Team Hayes) headline the list of 119 first acceptors for the feature three-year-old race.

Royal Symphony, a winner of three races over the winter including the Taj Rossi Winter Series Final (1600m) at Flemington, is the nominal favourite.

The Lindsay Park-trained Catchy is still in contention to take on the colts, where her rivals could include Group 1 ATC Sires Produce (1400m) winner Invader and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) winner, The Mission, who feature among the first acceptances.

Summer Passage, winner of New Zealand’s Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and runner-up in the Group 1 ATC Sires Produce (1400m), has also accepted and is set to resume alongside Catchy and a handful of other acceptors in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) this weekend at Flemington.

Second acceptances for the Thousand Guineas will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

$500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) - Caulfield, Saturday, 14 October 2017

Click here to view the first round acceptances

Catchy, a first acceptor for Caulfield’s two three-year-old classics, heads the list of 91 first acceptances for the Thousand Guineas.

Shoals, who remains unbeaten after her Group 3 Atlantic Jewel (1200m) win at The Valley on Saturday, and Formality, a winner of the Group 2 Silver Shadow and Furious Stakes both over 1200 metres, are among the other key acceptors.

Second acceptances for the Thousand Guineas will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.


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