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COX PLATE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

HISTORY:

* First run 1922 when Moonee Valley Racing Club committe voted for a high-quality, weight-for-age race for best horses

* Named for William Samuel Cox, founder of Moonee Valley racecourse

* Violoncello was inaugural winner

NOTABLE WINNERS:

* 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)

TALKING POINTS:

* Rising Fast (1954) only horse to win Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in same year

* Phar Lap is shortest-priced winner of the race, starting at 1-14 in 1931

* Kingston Town only horse to win three times, in 1980-81-82. Ridden by a different jockey each time – Malcolm Johnston, Ron Quinton and Peter Cook

* The late TJ Smith most successful trainer with seven wins – Redcraze (1957), Tulloch (1960), Gunsynd (1972), Kingston Town (1980-81-82) and Red Anchor (1984)

* Surround only three-year-old filly to win

* Darby Munro most successful jockey, winning five times

* In 2000 Sunline equalled Dulcify’s record-winning margin of seven lengths

TRACK: Moonee Valley is unique with a circumference of 1805 metres and a home straight of 173 metres

THE FAVOURITE: Fawkner solid after drawing barrier four. The 2013 Caulfield Cup winner defeated Cox Plate rival Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes. If he wins, will give owner Lloyd Williams first Cox Plate

THREE-YEAR-OLDS: Three trying to emulate last year’s winner Shamus Award. Gai Waterhouse has two – Almalad and Wandjina – while Sweynesse races for Godolphin. They carry 49.5kg, 6.5kg less than their nearest-weighted rivals.

THE CLEANER: Bookmakers say can’t win but he will carry sentiment. An unfashionably-bred gelding from Tasmania, The Cleaner is trained by Mick Burles who catches the Bass Strait ferry to race his horse on the mainland. Loves Moonee, winning past four starts at track

PATTERN: The Cleaner a natural leader, works forward from the outside gate. Steven Arnold rides and won in 2010 with So You Think. Three-year-olds typically put on speed with weight advantage. Fawkner drawn to have right run.

 
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