ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE COX PLATE
Group One, $3 million, weight-for-age, 2040 metres
* First run in 1922 when the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee voted for a high-quality, weight-for-age race for the best horses
* Named after William Samuel Cox, founder of Moonee Valley racecourse.
* Notable winners include Phar Lap (1930-31), Ajax (1938), Rising Fast (1954), Tulloch (1960), Tobin Bronze (1966-67), Dulcify (1979), Kingston Town (1980-81-82), Bonecrusher (1986), Might And Power (1998), Sunline (1999-2000), Northerly (2001-02), Makybe Diva (2005), So You Think (2009-10), Adelaide (2014) and Winx (2015).
* Phar Lap is shortest-priced winner starting at 1-14 in 1931.
* Rising Fast (1954) is the only horse to win the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year.
* Kingston Town is the only horse to win three times. He was ridden by a different jockey each time – Malcolm Johnston (1980), Ron Quinton (1981) and Peter Cook (1982)
* The late TJ Smith is the most successful trainer with seven wins – Redcraze (1957), Tulloch (1960), Gunsynd (1972), Kingston Town (1980-81-82) and Red Anchor (1984).
* Surround in 1976 is the only three-year-old filly to win. Since then 13 fillies have run with Slight Chance (1992) and Samantha Miss (2008) third Yankee Rose is the only filly contesting Saturday’s Cox Plate.
* Darby Munro is the most successful jockey winning five times.
* In 2000 Sunline equalled Dulcify’s record-winning margin of seven lengths.
* Irish horse Adelaide became the first northern hemisphere-trained winner in 2014.
* Five mares have won the race in the past 20 years – Winx (2015), Pinker Pinker (2011), Makybe Diva (2005), Sunline (1999-2000) and Dane Ripper (1997). Winx and Lucia Valentina are the only two mares contesting Saturday’s Cox Plate.
* Moonee Valley is a StrahtAyr surface – turf with a sand base – and is a tight turning track. It has a circumference of 1805 metres and the home straight its 173 metres.
* Last year’s winner Winx is favourite to beat Hartnell. The Chris Waller-trained mare has 16 wins from 22 starts with prizemoney of $7,498,175. She will be ridden by last year’s winning jockey, Hugh Bowman.
* Three-year-old filly Yankee Rose and French horse Vadamos, who will jump from barriers one and two respectively, share the third line of betting.
WHAT THE MAIN PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
“To have a horse run in the Golden Slipper and Cox Plate in the one year is pretty amazing, and to knock off a couple of Group Ones in between, it’s just been a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us and we’re really enjoying it” -Yankee Rose’s trainer David Vandyke.
“Obviously Winx and Hartnell seem to be going really well, but she’s a weight-for-age 2000 metre winner in her own right in the autumn so you can’t dismiss her lightly, that’s for sure” – Lucia Valeninta’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
“She set a track record in the race last year. Physically she looks like she’s a little bit stronger so that gives me a bit of confidence to say we can at least hold our form. And then we’ve got to worry about where the challengers are coming from” Winx’s trainer Chris Waller.
“Winx is a deserving favourite. I don’t go into the race with any expectations, just focus on our horse and having him as good as we can get him on the day” – Hartnell’s trainer John O’Shea.