2015 Cox Plate Preview

Cox Plate


This year’s Cox Plate looks to be a thriller. The Cox Plate date has been set for October 24, when a field of dozens talented horses will take the field. As the race takes place towards the end of the Spring Carnival, punters participating in Cox plate betting should have a good idea of who the main contestants are beforehand.


Although the contesting horses have not yet been announced, the Cox Plate will field a variety of winners of other contests. Some participants will come from the Group 1 Caulfield Guneas, a 1600m race. Other winners will come from the Yalumba Stakes, a 200m short course, or the Tooraj Handicap, another 1600m race. Some other competitors may be drawn from a pool of winners from such races as the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, an 1800m distance competition held in September, the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, a 1600m race, and the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes, also coming in at 1600m. While the Cox Plate date is already set, all eyes are going to be on the preliminary races to see who the strong contenders are this year.


The Cox Plate total combined prize money will be $3 million Australian. The outright winner will receive $1.8 million, as well as a series of trophies valued at $38,000, $3,800, $3,800, $3,800 and $600 that are given to the owner of the winning horse, its trainer, its rider, the breeder and the groom. For second place, the award money is $440,000. For third place, the award is $220,000. For fourth place, the award money is $130,000. For fifth place, the award money is $110,000. For sixth, seventh, and eighth places, the award money is $100,000 apiece. It is unknown how much Cox Plate betting money will be traded but the race remains popular amongst punters.


The W.S. Cox Plate is a Group 1 race for thoroughbred horses aged 3 years old and over that has been held continuously since 1922. The race is held over a distance of 2040 metres, and is held every year at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. With a payoff of over $3 million, the Cox Plate is the richest weight-for-age horse race in the country.


Many notable horses have won the Cox Plate, including Kingston Town, Fields of Omagh, Sunline, Phar Lap, Flight, Tobin Bronze and Northerly. One horse, Rising Fast, won the Cox Plate in 1954, the same year he also won the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups. The current record holder for the Cox Plate is Better Loosen Up, who won the race in 1990 with a time of 2 minutes and 1 second. The first winner of the Cox Plate was Violoncello, a horse from England. Because of wartime restrictions, only local horses  competed in the Cox Plate between 1942 and 1944.


The Cox Plate is the featured attraction of Melbourne’s Spring Carnival and is often referred to as the ‘greatest 2 minutes in sport’. Two nights earlier, the Manikato Stakes are held, followed the next day by the Valley race. The festival then concludes with the Cox Plate, the grand championship race.


Last year’s Cox Plate Race featured a photo finish as four horses finished the race with less than one second difference between them. Ultimately, however, the horse Fawkner won the race after being badly knuckled by Went Forward. Despite the initial setback, Fawkner sprang ahead around the 600m mark and never looked back. Race fans are expecting an equally thrilling competition this year.

written by John Hawthorne

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