The Cox Plate is the race so nice they nicknamed it twice. Depending who you talk to it, it is known as the “the race where legends are made” and “the greatest two minutes in sport”. Many people call it both.
The Cox Plate is a 2040-metre weight-for-age race that’s run at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse, with three-year-olds and open-class horses competing. It is Australia’s greatest race and was recently named the world’s best turf race in London by the Longines World’s Best Horse Race Awards, sharing the title with the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. The Cox Plate is included in the prestigious World Series, the only race in the Southern Hemisphere to have claimed that honour, placing it on a par with such iconic sporting events as America’s Arlington Million, the Japan Cup, Germany’s Grosser Preis Von Baden, the Canadian International, and Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.
The Cox Plate will be run this year on Saturday 28 October, appearing as always between the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup. Together, the three races make an enthralling trifecta, easily the key highlights of the spring racing carnival. The Cox Plate is named after William Samuel Cox, who founded Moonee Valley, and was first run in 1922. Its original prize purse of 1,000 pounds has gradually increased and it is now the third richest race in Australia with a purse of just over $3 million.
Some of the greatest moments in Australia’s racing history have occurred during the running of the Cox Plate, such as the remarkable seven-length win by Sunline in 2000. Then there was the legendary Kingston Town, which claimed the plate three consecutive times in the early 1980s, and of course the 1931 win by Phar Lap that is still talked about today. Anybody watching the Cox Plate last year saw another legendary moment when the name Winx was carved on the Wall of Champions in the Octagonal Lounge for the second year in row after a win of eight lengths. It’s highly fitting that at the same ceremony where Longines named the Cox Plate the best turf horse race in the world they also named Winx the world’s best turf horse.
The rich prize purse of the Cox Plate attracts a strong international field, though locals will be pleased to hear that it’s mostly Australians and New Zealanders who have lifted the Plate.
The Cox Plate is the climax of the double-meeting Cox Plate Carnival. It is preceded by the Manikato Stakes, which takes place the night before because Moonee Valley is the only metropolitan racecourse in Australia to have night racing. The horses are obviously the biggest drawcard of the Carnival, but there is also a lot more on offer such as dining, entertainment and fashion events.
The Cox Plate is often regarded as a race for the more serious punters, as it doesn’t attract the same level of media attention as the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup that it appears between. However, there’s no need for that attitude because the Cox Plate can be a great opportunity for both the devoted gamblers and those who only pick up a form guide during the spring racing season.
To place your money on the right horse you simply need a few tips from our professional analysts. They spend the entire year studying the various horses, trainers and jockeys to make the connections that will give insight to who might win the Plate this year. It’s certainly better than listening to the casual “experts” who appear every spring and are determined to convince you that the feeling in their bones is worth putting your money behind.
Cox Plate Field and Odds
The Cox Plate nominations open in August and there are often more than 200 horses chomping at the bit to get into a barrier on the day of the legendary race. Only 14 get the chance, with four emergencies also offered a possible opportunity. This year the final field will be announced on Tuesday 24 October and everybody who is anybody in the field of racing will be closely watching. That’s only the start of the excitement, though. Shortly afterwards there will be a special function in Melbourne’s CBD for the barrier draw.
There are certain races where the barrier draw doesn’t actually mean much and every horse has an equal chance to win. The Cox Plate is not one of them. The circumference of the Moonee Valley track is 1805 metres, with a very short straight of only 173 metres. That means there’s a lot of jostling around the corners and it can make a lot of difference where a horse is placed when the gates open.
To get the best scoop on the final field and the barrier draw, this is your best place to be. We have professional analysts who will delve deep into the history of each horse and jockey, giving you the best possible chance to pick the winner. Mark it in your calendar: Tuesday 24 October.
The final odds for the Cox Plate are only released a few days before the race, but if you’re looking to make some big money, you can always pick a horse in the winter months when betting first opens. It really is a gamble, as you can’t tell if your horse will even make it into a barrier on Plate Day, but it can be fun.
A more popular bet, which also pays very handsomely, is the Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup Double. Only half a dozen horses have ever managed this achievement, including Phar Lap in 1930. The most recent was Makybe Diva in 2005.
If you’re looking for a form guide to the Cox Plate, there are a number of races you should keep your eye on. These include the Caulfield Guineas, Yalumba Stakes, Toorak Handicap, Underwood Stakes, Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and Makybe Diva Stakes.
Of course, you don’t have to study all of those races because our professional analysts will be doing it for you. Our tips and analysis will give you everything you need for the best shot at picking Australia’s weight-for-age champion.