The Cox Plate is the premier weight for age horse race in Australia, attracting lots of attention both at home and around the world. While not as famous with the general public as the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate has a great international reputation and is the only southern hemisphere race included in the world series.
There are a number of important facts that help to define the Cox Plate, which is known as both “the race where legends are made” and “the greatest two minutes in sport”.
- The Cox Plate is run over a distance of 2040 metres, and is a weight for age event for three year old horses and above.
- The Cox Plate has been run since 1922, with the first ever event won by Violencello for 1000 pounds in prize money.
- Only a few horses have managed to win the Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup Double: Nightmarch (1929), Phar Lap (1930), Rising Fast (1954), Saintly (1996), Might And Power (1998), Makybe Diva (2005).
- Since 1999, the Cox Plate is the only southern hemisphere horse race to be included in the World Series, 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 Cox Plate is the biggest event held at Monee Valley Racecourse, and is held on the same day as seven Group rated events, including 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.
- The Cox Plate has had a number of great champions throughout its long history. However, Kingston Town is often dubbed to be the greatest ever, being the only horse to win the event three years in a row between 1980-83.
- Some of the events to watch out for as possible form guides for the Cox Plate include the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the Yalumba Stakes (200m), and the Toorak Handicap (1600m). Earlier races to watch include the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), and the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).