The Cox Plate is all about Hartnell VS Winx this year.
James McDonald will ride Hartnell this Saturday, who faces his rival on the field, mare Winx.
On paper, Winx is foolproof. Arguably, she is better than ever before. Along with her confident jockey Hugh Bowman, Winx suits the course and distance, able to tackle wet or dry conditions, and she will be launching from the ideal barrier number 3. Meanwhile, her trainer Chris Waller is a modern phenomenon.
Nonethless, Hartnell is ready to race for the title alongside this tough competitor. After an impressive win in the Turnbull Stakes in which he beat superstar Jameka, he is certainly one to watch still. In fact, the Turnbull honour roll includes champions who have gone on to win the Cox Plate, including Sunline, Makybe Diva, and Northerly.
Ultimately, the race will be all about tactics. There are endless grandstand jockeys claiming they know best what McDonald should or shouldn’t do. Realistically, he is going to have to play it by hand and instinct.
Hopefully, he isn’t overloaded with instructions. All in all, McDonald and Hartnell will have to race the way they know how to race best.