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Spring Selections: Cox Plate Weekend

This weekend sees two big race meetings at Moonee Valley. The first being on Friday night with the running of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes while on Saturday, it's Cox Plate Day as the superstar mare Winx goes for her third straight Cox Plate victory. Our experts give their thoughts on the Manikato, their betting proposition for the Cox Plate and their best for Saturday at The Valley. 

Thanks again to's Adam McGrath and James Jordan, the voice of South Australian racing Terry McAuliffe and The Advertiser's Lincoln Moore and Ben Scadden.

Group 1 Manikato Stakes

Adam McGrath: Vega Magic - Has shown he is a serious animal and he should've won the Everest with any luck. From barrier 3 he should find himself in the perfect position and from there I expect his class to shine through

James Jordan: Vega Magic - Impossible to go past him with the perfect draw.

Terry McAuliffe: Vega Magic - Magnificent in defeat I the Everest when runner up to Redzel. His first defeat in 4 runs for Lindsay Park, I expect as the market is suggesting he will be back in the winner’s list Friday night

Lincoln Moore: Vega Magic - Massive run in the Everest when he was caught wide and flashed home. Looks his race to lose

Ben Scadden: Vega Magic - The more you watch the replay of The Everest, the more you realise the enormity of his effort. Drawn perfectly, look for him to dominate from barrier release.

Group 1 Cox Plate Betting Strategy

Adam McGrath: Trifecta - 8 / 1,9 / 1,2,5,9

James Jordan: Exacta with Gailo Chop - think anything that settles behind Winx in the run has their heart broken trying to keep up when she quickens.

Terry McAuliffe: In Trifectas and First Fours naturally Winx to win from for the minors Happy Clapper, Gailo Chop, Humidor and Folkswood

Lincoln Moore: Backing Gailo Chop in the Winx-out market at $4.60. He'll make his own luck form a good gate and can hold off the others behind the champion mare.

Ben Scadden: Only one horse can win and three - Kaspersky, Seaburge and Hardham - barely deserve their place in the field. That leaves five to run second, third and fourth. Take a Pick 4, standing out Winx and boxing Royal Symphony, Happy Clapper, Gailo Chop, Humidor and Folkswood.

Best for Saturday

Adam McGrath: (Race 10) Aloisia - She showed her class in the Thousand Guineas. She did get a nice run, but I love the way she ran through the line. She's third-up now, there's good speed in the race and I expect she'll be too strong for this field late. 

James Jordan: (Race 5) Oregon's Day - Got the tactics wrong last start, absolutely need to get cover with her. She can bounce back.

Terry McAuliffe: (Race 6) Big Duke - Back from Sydney where he was a game second in the Metropolitan before winning the St Leger. I expect him to take care of these

Lincoln Moore: (Race 3) Eclair Sunshine - Each-way, no luck last week behind Snitzepeg and drawn a nice gate.

Ben Scadden: (Race 3) Single Bullet - It's hard to get too excited with a horse with one win and five placings from eight starts but I've really liked both his runs from a spell in Sydney. He's drawn perfectly and his on-pace style should be perfectly suited to the Valley.

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