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Bart connections pay $200,000 for late Cox Plate nomination


Black Heart Bart would also be entitled to a $1 million bonus if he won the Cox Plate for winning the Underwood Stakes, one of 13 races in the new Cox Plate boost series.

But Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell said the nine-year-old wasn’t a lock to start on Saturday.

“No one is a certain starter until after the committee meet tomorrow morning,” he said.

“He’s now in contention, he’s now under consideration.

“We’ve got three invited runners, you can lock them in 100 per cent. The three that won ballot exempt races, you’d say they’re 99.9 per cent certain and then it looks like we’ve got 12 horses chasing the next eight spots.”

Japanese horse Lys Gracieux is being prepared for the Cox Plate.

Japanese horse Lys Gracieux is being prepared for the Cox Plate.Credit:Getty Images

Internationals Lys Gracieux, Kluger and Danceteria will take up their places, while Homesman, Harlem and Cape Of Good Hope won exempt races.

Black Heart Bart won the group 1 Underwood two starts back and franked that form with a second behind Cape Of Good Hope in the exempt Caulfield Stakes.

“He won one of the Cox Plate boost races, the Underwood Stakes, but those races – there’s 13 in that series – they’re not Cox Plate exempt races,” Browell said.


“The committee will meet at 8.15am tomorrow morning and then the field is named at 9am.

“I’d like to think the first 10 or 12 are pretty easy and then we’ll debate the others.”

Mystic Journey, Avilius and import Magic Wand are considered likely starters, while Kings Will Dream is a last-start group 1 winner at weight-for-age level in the Turnbull Stakes.

Avilius, however, needs to gallop to the satisfaction of stewards on Tuesday after Godolphin trainer James Cummings reported blood in his nostrils following a Flemington gallop on Saturday.


Others in the mix include New Zealander Te Akau Shark, three-year-old Castelvecchio, mare Verry Elleegant, multiple Cox Plate placegetter Humidor, nine-year-old Gailo Chop, luckless Caulfield Cup runner Mr Quickie and international Dream Castle.

Meanwhile, Godolphin three-year-old Bivouac is set to headline Friday night’s Manikato Stakes field.

The Golden Rose winner, who has beaten Everest winner Yes Yes Yes at his last two starts, is an early $1.80 favourite for the group 1 sprint.

Former Godolphin star Sepoy was the last three-year-old to win the Manikato in 2011, for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden, also as a $1.80 favourite.

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