Some of Australian racing’s most coveted prizes go on the line this Saturday, as the Spring Racing Carnival heats up on the Seven Network with Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley and City Tattersalls Club Cup Day at Royal Randwick.
Australasia’s most prestigious weight-for-age race, the $5 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m), headlines the live and free racing at Moonee Valley on Saturday, when fans can look forward to what’s widely regarded as the best two minutes in sport.
At Randwick, the inaugural running of the $2 million The Invitation (1400m) will take centre stage as a marquee event for fillies and mares, alongside the $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) for three-year-olds.
Seven’s coverage begins at 12.00pm AEDT Saturday on Channel 7, 7two and 7plus and will be led by Australia’s pre-eminent sport broadcaster Bruce McAvaney.
Racing’s #1 commentary team will also include national racing icon Michelle Payne, who remains the only female jockey to have won the Melbourne Cup. She will be joined at Moonee Valley by Hamish McLachlan and Jason Richardson, while Emma Vosti will cover all the fashion and colour of one of Spring Racing’s grandest occasions.
At Randwick, Seven’s unrivalled line-up will feature Katelyn Mallyon, Emma Freedman, Gerard Middleton and Sky Racing’s Lizzie Jelfs.
The 101st running of the Cox Plate features the long-awaited clash between superstar thoroughbreds Zaaki and Verry Elleegant, who are both looking to bounce back from last-start defeats, with exciting Caulfield Guineas winner Anamoe also looming as a major danger in a race where three-year-olds have thrived.
This year’s field includes just one international runner, State of Rest, who is a last-start Group 1 winner in the United States, while import Gold Trip will be looking to give trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace back-to-back Cox Plate winners in his Australian debut.
A quality field will contest The Invitation, with New Zealand mare Entriviere shaping as the horse to beat following impressive Group wins on both sides of the Tasman. Group 1 winners Forbidden Love and Media Award will be out to spoil her plans, however, while Golden Pendant winner Vangelic and Doncaster Handicap runner-up Icebath should also be right in the mix.
The Bondi Stakes shapes as a battle between top colts Hilal and Coastwatch after their epic encounter in the Stan Fox Stakes, but Cotehele and Royalzel can’t be discounted in this race over the famous Randwick mile.
In the countdown to the Cox Plate, fans are in for a special treat with Aussie rock legend Daryl Braithwaite set to sing his smash hit The Horses at Moonee Valley.
Saturday’s other highlights at the Valley include the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m), Crystal Mile (1600m), Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) and Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
Over the coming weeks, Seven will continue to bring fans Spring Racing’s finest thoroughbred action from around Australia, including next week’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle, racing’s Grand Final for four-year-olds.
Moonee Valley – Cox Plate Day
Royal Randwick – City Tattersalls Club Cup Day
Saturday 12.00pm AEDT on Channel 7, 7two and 7plus
TV broadcast times on Seven:
Saturday 23 October
Moonee Valley – Cox Plate Day
Royal Randwick – Club Tattersalls Club Cup Day
Sydney 12.00pm LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus, 5.30pm LIVE on 7two
Melbourne 12.00pm LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus, 5.30pm LIVE on 7two
Brisbane 11.00am LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus
Adelaide 11.30am LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus
Perth 9.00am LIVE on 7two and 7plus, 10.00am LIVE on Channel 7