FULL FIELD OF 14 FOR COX PLATE

Fawkner Chasing First Cox Plate Win For Lloyd Williams

A full field of 14 horses will line up in Saturday’s Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) at Moonee Valley, with the favourite, Fawkner (Reset), drawn in barrier four.

The gelding, who will be out to provide owner Lloyd Williams with a first win in the race, remained the $4.20 favourite following yesterday’s barrier draw, with Williams’ son and fellow part-owner, Nick, delighted with Fawkner’s condition.

"He hasn't put a foot out of place," he said. "The horse is in perfect order. He's obviously the favourite for the race and we wouldn't swap him for anything.

"But the reality is that this is the best race in Australia and it takes some winning, as we know very well, having tried many times and having never been able to pull it off.”

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Racing News

Heathcote Delighted With Buffering’s Manikato Draw

Robert Heathcote is convinced the Manikato Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) barrier draw has played out in favour of his defending champion Buffering (Mossman) but the Queensland trainer still rates Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice) as the horse to beat.

Buffering returned to winning form with his first-up win in the A J Moir Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), narrowly beating Lankan Rupee in a field of five.

Yet Buffering is on the third line of betting at $5.50 after drawing barrier four in Friday night's $1,000,000 sprint at Moonee Valley, with Lankan Rupee at $3.70, having drawn gate nine in the field of 12.

Bookmakers have made Terravista (Captain Rio) the $3.50 favourite from gate seven.

Heathcote insists Buffering is as well as he has ever been and said he was delighted after yesterday's draw.

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Industry News

Drayton South Mine Proposal Rejected

The proposed expansion on Anglo American’s Drayton South open cut coal mine has been rejected by an NSW Government Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for the second time.

Having been rejected by a separate PAC in December last year, the Department of Planning had supported redrawn plans earlier this year, that would have seen the life of the expansion reduced to 20 years and its footprint scaled back to avoid it being visible from both Darley and Coolmore studs.

Anglo American argued the expansion was crucial to securing the future of at least 500 local jobs but the plans have once again been rejected by a PAC, who argue the economic benefits of the expansion “do not outweigh the risk of losing Coolmore and Darley”, both of whom had suggested they would have to strongly consider leaving the area should the proposal get the go-ahead.

In a statement released yesterday, the the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s (HTBA) Dr Cameron Collins praised the PAC for their decision, which he said underlined the significance of the industry, both locally and nationally.

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