Cox Plate Dilemma Looms

The Monee Valley Racing Club seems certain to be confronted with a difficult decision on Tuesday with 15 horses expected to be competing for the 14 places in its signature race, the $3 million WS Cox Plate (2040m). Acceptances for the Cox Plate are taken at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday and all indications are that the MVRC committee will be asked to decide between an in-form, locally-bred entrant and a slightly out-of-form import. The situation could have been more difficult if not for the defection of Fenway after her lacklustre performance when last in Saturday’s Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m). Connections of 15 other leading candidates all intend to accept, leaving the likely dilemma between Godolphin’s Complacent or Contributer and the Gai Waterhouse-trained, French-bred Pornichet. Complacent, who won the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes as a 3YO and was runner up in the VRC Derby has won at Group 3 and Group 2 level at two of his past three starts and was third at Group 3 in the other. Pornichet has twice been placed in Group company this time in but tailed the field in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes last time out. While it will have no bearing on the decision, Complacent controversially missed a place in last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup, a race in which he would have been among the top three in the betting. He will be one of three Godolphin acceptors for the Cox Plate, along with the imported horses Hartnell and Contributer.