Favourites satisfied with Cox Plate barrier draw

James McDonald rides Hartnell to the barrier for the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington earlier this month.
James McDonald rides Hartnell to the barrier for the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington earlier this month. JULIAN SMITH

CONNECTIONS of the two favourites for Saturday's $3 million Cox Plate emerged from today's barrier draw at Moonee Valley with confidence unabated.

With defending champion Winx to jump from No.3 and emerging Godolphin superstar Hartnell in No.7, both camps were satisfied their chances had not been harmed by the draw for a 10-horse field with no natural pacemaker.

Winx's jockey, Hugh Bowman, told he was "satisfied” with barrier three.

"There's no real designated leader in the field, so someone's going to have to take it up,” he said.

"From barrier three, I jump from a position where I'm not going to be committed to be making a decision I don't want to make.

"Then again, if it is a really muddily run race and I'm stuck inside horses, it could get awkward for me.

"Ultimately for me, it's about keeping it simple and having the horse comfortable, and if that's the case, she'll be very hard to beat.”

After galloping Winx at the Valley on Saturday morning, trainer Chris Waller sent her around again this morning over 1600m at Breakfast with the Best and was pleased with what he saw.

"Everything's gone to plan with us and that's the most important thing. She is going well,” he said.

"Hugh said she's a natural getting around the track, she just loves it.”

Reaction to the barrier draw was swift with Winx firming from $2 into $1.90 and Hartnell drifting from $2.80 to $3.

Hartnell's trainer John O'Shea was suitably respectful when asked if he was concerned Winx had drawn the three alley.

"I'm concerned she's in the race,” he quipped.

Queried on tactics, O'Shea expected jockey James McDonald would concentrate on getting Hartnell relaxed as he did in taking out the Turnbull Stakes (Group 1, 2000m) by more than three lengths over subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Jameka.

"James was able to let him roll along a little bit for the first couple of furlongs (in the Turnbull) and get him to a nice rhythm,” O'Shea said.

"From gate seven we don't have to be bustling - we can just take out time and have a similar approach.”

"Both him and Bowman are great riders. Both (horses) will get their chances to be effective.”

Topics:  chris waller cox plate hartnell hugh bowman james mcdonald john oshea winx

WATCH: Men welcomed to women's group

Bev Hall, Diane Walsh, Denise Maycock and Margaret Grayson at the QCWA Scarf and High Tea day. Photo Sophie Lester / Warwick Daily News

Major change for nation's largest women's group

Rooster needed: too many eggs

ROOSTER HUNT:  Rhans Campbell and Alex Haynes were at the Pig and Calf Sale in search of a rooster.

THEY'VE already got themselves quite the menagerie at home.

Warwick welcomes newest citizens

NEW CITIZENS: Cr Rod Kelly and Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed 18 of the newest Australian Citizens to the Southern Downs in an official ceremony in Warwick on Wednesday.

Southern Downs councillors welcome newest citizens

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Events you need to be at this week...

Some Australian sevens rugby squad members will be in Warwick this weekend.

It won't be all rodeo in Warwick this weekend

He's here for the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting

David Thorn from Cootamundra on Oh How Foxy.

David Thorn is here to make the most of the Warwick Rodeo.

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June