The WS Cox Plate is one of the big three thoroughbred races in Australia, and the third richest event behind the Melbourne Cup and Golden Slipper. For many people, however, this race is the most important due to its international reputation and overall stature in the racing community. The WS Cox Plate is a weight for age event for three year olds and over, run over a distance of 2040 metres at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne.
There are lots of impressive statistics surrounding the WS Cox Plate, which has always attracted the very best names in Australian and international racing. To get a rough idea of just how important this event is in Australian racing, the winners’ list over the years includes names like Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might and Power, Sunline, Northerly, Makybe Diva, and So You Think. From famous facts to little known oddities, lets take a closer look at “the greatest two minutes in sport”.
– The Cox Plate is the only southern hemisphere event to be included in the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, joining other great races like the Japan Cup, the Hong Kong International Cup, Arlington Million in the USA, the Canadian International, the Breeders Cup Turf and Breeders Cup Classic in the USA, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Grosser Preis Von Baden in Germany, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in the UK.
– The most successful barrier for the Cox Plate is 6, producing five winners in the past 30 years. The next best barriers with four winners each over the same period are 7 and 11
– No Cox Plate winners have come from barriers 8, 12 or 14 over the last 30 years.
– Only one horse has managed to win the great triple of Australian horse racing, with Rising Fast taking out the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, and Cox Plate in 1954.
– Six horses have won the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup double over the years, Makybe Diva, Might and Power, Saintly, Nightmarch, Phar Lap, and Rising Fast.
– The favourite in the WS Cox Plate has an overall win rate of 41 percent, with those horses starting at less than $2 enjoying a 70 percent win rate.
– The shortest favourite to win the WS Cox Plate was the famous Phar Lap in 1931, who came in first at $1.07 or 14/1.
– The Cox Plate is the biggest event held at Moonee Valley Racecourse, and is held on the same day as seven Group rated events. Supporting races include the Group 2 Schweppes Stakes, Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup, Group 2 Crystal Mile, Group 2 AAMI Vase, Group 3 Inglis Mile, and Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes.
– Kingston Town will probably be remembered as the greatest Cox Plate champion, winning this event for three years in a row between 1980-83.
– The WS Cox Plate is loved by racing purists and known by many as “the greatest two minutes in sport”, with fans often calling this event the biggest test for thoroughbred horses in Australia.