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The Cox Plate is run at Moonee Valley Racecourse, a tight track which favours certain styles of racing and barriers. This is a purist race and a track for specialists, with on pace runners often performing well. An inside barrier is often thought to be ideal for this event, although different positions can favour different horses depending on their style of racing.

The ideal racing position for the Cox Plate is often just behind the leaders, close to the fence but far enough away to avoid getting locked in. However, while certain barriers do have a good history at this race, it is fair to say that barrier selection plays a less important role than in some races due to the long distance involved. In general, horses need to make their run during the middle of the race to avoid being shut out, so they are ready to pounce down the short home straight. For horses who are able to hold their energy, there is also the possibility of a home run either down the inside fence or out wide.

The Cox Plate barrier draw is an important part of the carnival, taking place each year at the Barrier Draw Breakfast on the Tuesday before the race. This special event can be attended by both members and guests, who have the chance to mingle with all the top trainers, jockeys, and media personalities. The Cox Plate Barrier Draw Breakfast marks the start of the Cox Plate carnival, with a full buffet breakfast enjoyed alongside the draw and a guest panel of speakers.

 
 
 
 
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