The final field for the 2020 Cox Plate has been announced, with Irish raider Buckhurst a shock omission from the list of guaranteed starters in Saturday’s $5 million race Group 1.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club were forced to make a big decision after 15 horses accepted for the race, with a capacity field of 14 runners allowed.
It was the Joseph O’Brien-trained Buckhurst who was controversially left out, with Master Of Wine chosen ahead of him for the final spot.
Connections of Buckhurst were left gobsmacked by the decision, with the Irish Group 3 winner holding two victories over the likes of Sir Dragonet, as well as beating home Master Of Wine by 1.2L in last weekend’s Caulfield Cup.
Three-year-old Grandslam was also included in the field, despite having won just one race at Benchmark 66 level in Adelaide.
The barrier draw was the other talking point of the morning, with pre-draw favourite Russian Camelot drawing the outside gate, with as much as $5.00 now available for the dual Group 1 winner.
Arcadia Queen, who caused a minor upset when she defeated Russian Camelot in the Caulfield Stakes, came up with barrier 8 and remains steady at $5.50.
The international brigade all fared well, with Aspetar (barrier 3), Sir Dragonet (7), Magic Wand (4) and Armory (6) all drawing favourably.
Epsom Handicap winner Probabeel sits at $9.00 in betting and will start from barrier 2, while the three-year-old Grandslam will jump from barrier 5 with his featherweight of 49.5kg.
See the final field, barrier draw and market for the 2020 Cox Plate below.
|1||Kolding||Chris Waller||James McDonald||59kg||10||$15|
|2||Humidor||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||59kg||14||$26|
|3||Fierce Impact||Matthew Smith||Luke Currie||59kg||12||$34|
|4||Master Of Wine||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg||1||$41|
|5||Mugatoo||Kris Lees||John Allen||59kg||9||$34|
|6||Aspetar||Roger Charlton||Damien Lane||59kg||3||$15|
|7||Sir Dragonet||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Glen Boss||59kg||7||$13|
|8||Magic Wand||Aidan O’Brien||Mark Zahra||57kg||4||$26|
|9||Arcadia Queen||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||57kg||8||$5.50|
|10||Nettoyer||Wendy Roche||Billy Egan||57kg||13||$151|
|11||Russian Camelot||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||56.5kg||15||$5.00|
|12||Armory||Aidan O’Brien||Ben Melham||56.5kg||6||$5.00|
|13||Probabeel||Jamie Richards||Kerrin McEvoy||55.5kg||2||$9.00|
|14||Grandslam||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||49.5kg||5||$26|
|15 (e)||Buckhurst||Joseph O’Brien||Jamie Kah||59kg||11||$51|
*Odds correct as of 17:38 on Thursday, October 20th.