Savabeel Backs Up Big Talk, Wins Cox Plate

Savabeel became the first 3-year-old since Octagonal in 1995 to win the Cox Plate (Aus-I) Saturday at Moonee Valley, at the same time affirming the guarantee of victory made by his trainer and owner, Graeme Rogerson, this week.

Savabeel took command on the turn for jockey Chris Monroe and pulled away while holding last year's Cox winner Fields of Omagh at bay for a one-length victory.

"I said he'd win, I put my reputation on the line and he's proved me right," Rogerson told Racing Post. "He was a bit fresh today because I have to leave some improvement for the Derby, So we'll see after that. This horse is a great horse, you've seen some horse today."

Favored Elvstroem, who won Caulfield Cup (Aus-I) a week ago, was a disappointing eighth while German-bred Paolini was 10th.

Munce, who committed himself to getting his weight down to Savabeel's 106.7-pound impost, said he felt the colt was fighting too hard down the back side as he stalked Regal Roller, who was striding out ahead of Miss Potential as expected. He angled Savabeel three wide entering the turn.

"I thought 'there's no use the two of us pulling' and he kicked away, Munce said. "With no weight on his back I wasn't going to wait for them,"

Starcraft finished a long neck away third with Grand Armee making ground behind him for fourth.

Local horses took the first six spots. New Zealander King's Chapel finished seventh and Hong Kong raider Elegant Fashion was eighth.

Roberson said he plans to make the Victoria Derby (Aus-I) Saturday at Flemington and he's still considering the Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) for Savabeel.

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