Forget the barrier draw – Gai’s about to win the Cox Plate. Why Pierro will get her smiling again.

When it comes to the Cox Plate, you’re either a fan of the babies, or you’re not.

There’s no middle ground. Some will sing the praises of the best youngsters in the land. Others will smirk when they finish down the track.

Ok, strictly, they’re not really babies. The three-year olds have been around a bit. But compared to the best weight for age horses in the land, babies they are.

No other race gives them such a fighting chance. Yet no other race is so gruelling.

It’s every owners dream to win the Cox Plate. To do it with a three-year old, carrying a tad over 49 kilos, is something again.

They have to be extra-special. Hype horses need not apply. The tiniest chink will be exposed out there. With the older stars grinning as they fly by.

Two months ago, I tipped Pierro. Back then, I thought he was on the way to being our next superstar. The first horse to complete the Golden Slipper/Cox Plate double in the same year.

I’m still tipping Gai’s young champion. But with a little less confidence.

His loss last start wasn’t part of the plan. When the regally bred All Too Hard went past, we gasped as one.

Gai refused to make excuses, but I will. It was a ride that Nash would love to have again. Too bad to be true. Pierro did amazingly well to finish where he did. He was gassed early, and still had the audacity to nearly pinch it.

I’m sticking with him. As others drop off by the minute. And in the ultimate vote of support for youth, I’m tipping a three-year old quinella.

Yep, I reckon the first two from the Caulfield Guineas will fight it out again. Pierro and All Too Hard, neck and neck. With Gai’s favourite just getting there.

That sound you now hear is the roar of disapproval from those who can’t cop such madness. And they may well be laughing at me this afternoon.

The more I look at the field, the more I think it’s lacking in genuine superstars. No Kingston Town in this lot.

Don’t get me wrong. They’re a hugely talented bunch. I’d love to have any one of them in the backyard. I just don’t think they’re unbeatable.

Ocean Park is a genuine threat. Bossy will make sure of that. And my old favourite Shoot Out is a knockout hope at big odds. I reckon they might be fighting over the minor placings.

These three-year olds could be on their way to rare air. With plenty more gripping battles ahead. It might just be a Cox Plate we’ll be talking to our grandkids about.

If I’m right, Gai will forget her troubled week, and hold the Plate aloft. Sadly, without Singo. If I’m wrong, I’m sure you’ll let me know.

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