The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 24th October 2020

Fresh of a brilliant Caulfield Cup we have the makings off a strong Cox Plate with an exciting clash of global formlines.

The best of those formlines at first glance belongs to the Irish raider Armory who arrives off running third in the Irish Champion Stakes won by Magical.  

Magical has won seven Group Ones (including a clean sweep of the open middle distance Group Ones in Ireland in the past 12 months) and has been runner up to superstars like Enable and Crystal Ocean in several others. Ghaiyyath, the runner up there, had cut through the English summer, winning the Jockey Club Cup, Eclipse and International at York while Sottsass, the horse Armory pushed out underneath and beat home in the race for third, had won the Ganay and added the Arc next time out. 

Basically, Europe's middle distance flair was on full display, and there was Armory holding his own. At 66-1... 

What are we to make of that? Armory had always been campaigned like a good horse, and he won really nicely in the lead up to the Irish Champion, but it's really that one rating at 66-1 that his whole Cox Plate case is built upon. 

The time, and the way that time was achieved, says it was no fluke. Ghaiyyath doesn't hang about and Ghaiyyath didn't hang about. Sectionals taken by the fine folks at Timeform in the UK show this to be a strongly run Irish Champion that returned a strong overall time. There was nowhere to hide, and no cheating to get into the finish. 

And having taken the time to make this strong case for Armory, we come to our best of the day - Arcadia Queen... 

The bar plates came off Arcadia Queen at Caulfield and she exploded, getting right back to the level that she was at when she went through the 2018 Summer carnival in WA like a wrecking ball.  

She's as good as any in the land when she is on and her closing speed at the end of the Caulfield Stakes is ample evidence to say that she is back in business.

Back in 2018, when she tore apart the Kingston Town in blistering time, Arcadia Queen looked a mare destined to develop into the best 1 1⁄4 m horse in Australia. Alas, she went and tried to climb a mountain, and so we have had to wait for the best part of two years to see her at what looks her ideal trip. But it was worth the wait and the way she went about winning the Caulfield Stakes off a slow tempo leaves her poised to do even better this time. 

Prices bigger than 4-1 seem to undersell the chances of her going right on with last time. If she does it's going to take some sort of performance to knock her off. 

For an each way play we are going to take a chance on Olmedo who failed to fire on bottomless ground at his Australian debut but, rain or no rain, surely won't hit a surface like that this weekend and has form that makes him a great chance in the Crystal Mile if right. 

A soft ground second to The Revenant on Arc weekend at his last run in France before coming across makes for great reading here and he was a good winner on soft ground at Deauville two runs prior, producing form that would go a long way to winning on Saturday. 

He has been hit-and-miss, no doubt, but his hits are terrific and he's well worth the gamble at around $7.50 early - with a good chance we will shop better between now and 2:50pm on Saturday afternoon. 



Bet Of The Day: Race 9 #9 Arcadia Queen @ $5.00

Each Way Play: Race 7 #4 Olmedo @ $7.50




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