While the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation and the Caulfield Cup gives it a great Saturday afternoon at the pub, the Cox Plate draws the world’s attention. Appearing on the perfect spot in the Spring racing calendar, nestled directly between the running of the two Cups, it is the only race in the Southern Hemisphere to be included in the World Series. That places it in the same league as great international races such as the Japan Cup, America’s Arlington Million, the Canadian International, Germany’s Grosser Preis Von Baden and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in the UK. Recently the Cox Plate was ranked as the best turf race in the world by the prestigious Longines World’s Best Horse Race Awards in London, on equal footing with the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.
The Cox Plate is a weight-for-age race that is run over 2040 metres at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse, with three-year-olds and open class horses competing for a chance to inscribe their name on the Wall of Champions in the Octagonal Lounge. It is known variably as the race where legends are made and the greatest two minutes in sport, for very good reasons. It was here that Phar Lap scored an incredible victory in 1931, lifting the spirits of a depression-stricken nation but giving little joy to punters with odds of 1-14. Another legend to be born was that of Kingston Town, which took out the Cox Plate three times in a row in the 1980s and is often dubbed the greatest horse ever to compete. The legends are still coming to life at Moonee Valley, with Winx last year claiming the title for the second year in a row on its way to being named the world’s best horse on turf.
First run in 1922 to honour William Samuel Cox, the founder of Moonee Valley, the Cox Plate has been growing in prestige ever since. The original prize purse was 1,000 pounds and it now stands at just over $3 million, making it the third richest horse race in Australia. It attracts a strong field of international competitors, but Australians and New Zealanders will be pleased to hear that the Plate has usually been claimed by horses from one side of the Tasman or the other.
This year the Cox Plate will be run on Saturday 28 October. It won’t be the only race worth watching at Moonee Valley that day, with Group 2 races such as the Schweppes Stakes, Moonee Valley Cup, Crystal Mile and AAMI Vase also taking place. Another event that’s not to be missed is the Manikato Stakes, which occurs the night before the Cox Plate as part of the Cox Plate Carnival. It makes Moonee Valley the only metropolitan track in Australia to have racing under lights.
Cox Plate tips
The Cox Plate does not attract the same media attention as the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup. It can get a little lost between them and is sometimes regarded as a race for the more serious punters. That’s a mistake. The Cox Plate is a great opportunity for all betters, regardless of whether you’re casual or hardcore. All you need is some good tips from our professional analysts. They have been studying the possible contenders for the 2017 Cox Plate since the moment the 2016 Cox Plate was lifted in triumph and they will be able to help you out.
There is no greater thrill than picking the winner of the Cox Plate, successfully choosing Australia’s weight-for-age champion from a field that includes all the best horses. Everybody with an interest in horse racing knows this, which means there are a lot of people out there trying to paint themselves as the guru you should listen to. Be very careful about taking their advice, partly because they may not know what they’re talking about but also because they do not always have your best interests at heart. Anybody can give you a tip, but few people can back it up with the months of study that our analysts devote to pointing you in the right direction. The odds will be in your favour with our tips.
Cox Plate Field and Odds
Cox Plate field
The field for the Cox Plate includes 14 starters and four emergencies. Nominations for the race open in August and there are generally more than 200 horses vying for an opportunity to gallop across the hallowed turf that’s been trodden by Phar Lap, Octagonal and Makybe Diva. Over several months the nominations are pared back until the big moment comes at 9am on the Tuesday before the race when the final field is announced. This year it will occur on Tuesday 24 October and everybody with an interest in Australia’s horse racing industry will be watching closely, many of them with bated breath.
The anticipation will only grow fiercer after that announcement when a special function is held in Melbourne’s CBD to carry out the barrier draw, deciding where each horse will start in the race. Moonee Valley has tight corners, with a short straight of only 173 metres. That means the conditions can be very pushy for the various competitors and the starting barrier can make the difference between triumph and tragedy.
If you want the inside edge on what the barrier draw will mean for the race and your chances of picking a winner, you need look no further than right here. Our analysts will examine the results and give you the best possible tips, along with all the latest news and most relevant form guides.
Cox Plate odds
If you’re extremely optimistic, or simply looking for a horse to cheer through a number of races in the months leading up to the Cox Plate, you can lay your money down in winter when the betting first opens. However, in that event you’ll need far more good luck than good management because there’s no way to be sure that your horse is even going to get a run. That can be a fun way to bet – and it’s certainly very lucrative if you stumble onto the winner – but most punters wait until the field has been announced and the barrier draw completed.
At that point we will be able to give you the best possible tips or provide you with everything you need to make your own decision.