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15/10/2004 edition

Cox Plate
Will Starcraft Win?

Starcraft was beaten over 1.5 lengths by Mummify and Grand Armee last Saturday at Caulfield over 2000 metres in the Group 1 Weight for Age Caulfield Stakes. On that run is Starcraft on track to win the Cox Plate to be held at Moonee Valley on Saturday, October 23?

Trainer Garry Newham and managing owner Paul Makin decided that Starcraft was to be ridden back in the field at Caulfield to give the 4YO horse a chance to settle.

After the race Gary Newham said:
"We had to ride him that way...He probably had to stand them up too far, but we couldn't take the chance of overracing again because if he overraced again today he would have no chance in the Cox Plate." Sunday Herald Sun, October 10, 2004.

In a slowly run race Starcraft was 15 lengths from the leaders at the 800m. Starcraft had virtually no chance of winning last Saturday on a track that was clearly favouring on pace runners. That was bad luck for the punters who took the $3.20.

Last week in Punt to Win we wrote:
"As punters, we need to be fully aware that we may be backing class horses in races where it really doesn't matter whether the horse wins or not, as long as it is coming along well in its preparation."

Starcraft's run on Saturday was an excellent Cox Plate trial. He easily ran the fastest last 800m and made up many lengths against the day's racing pattern. But Starcraft has never raced at Moonee Valley, which is very much a specialists' track. The tight turning Moonee Valley circuit with a very short home straight could pose problems for this big striding galloper. So could the track's unique StrathAyr racing surface. The recently retired champion, Lonhro, could not win in two Cox Plate attempts and performed well below his best at Moonee Valley, despite an overall winning strike rate well above 60%.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Will Starcraft win the Cox Plate?
Get those betting odds
Betting tips for 2YO races
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Rosehill, Caulfield betting tips from the track
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 8/10/2004
Punt to Win index

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