The Cox Plate was inaugurated in 1922 when taken out by Tangalooma and it has since been won by Australia's champions of the turf.
Named in honour of W.S. Cox, the weight-for-age classic is Australia's second richest weight-for-age race behind the Queen Elizabeth Stakes
but it holds much more weight to it. Trainers both locally and internationally target the Cox Plate and it wouldn't matter if the stake money was decreased, it would still be a high-profile race.
The champions list includes the likes of Kingston Town, Northerly, Fields Of Omaha and New Zealand champions Phar Lap, Sunline and Bonecrusher. Of course, we haven't forgotten about Winx, which scored three consecutive wins from 2015-2017 to equal the record of the great Kingston Town.
One of the more impressive recent wins came by Sunline in 2001. The Trevor and Stephen McKee-trained mare came into the race having scored in 1999 and what punters witnessed in 2000 was simply incredible. Sunline led the field throughout and broke her opposition's hearts approaching the home turn before kicking away for a seven-length win.
That equalled Dulcify's winning margin and although she was beaten in two subsequent Cox Plates, she didn't lose any admirers.
Punters didn't think they would see another champion grace Moonee Valley in the way Sunline did, but along came the Chris Waller-trained Winx, which would blow records out of the water. She scored her first win in 2015 when breaking the track record and she followed that up with a record-setting eight-length win in 2016.
In 2017 she broke her previous track record when becoming only the second horse to win the Cox Plate three times. Winx would win an unprededented fourth consecutive Cox Plate in 2018.
The history of the Cox Plate is an incredible list of past winners, champion trainers and jockeys, which will forever be associated with one of Australia's most beloved thoroughbred races.
Cox Plate betting
The Cox Plate is very much a favourites race, with 13 favourites winning since 1983 and some of them haven't paid big prices in the betting.
Winx paid $1.10 to win in 2017, which was the same starting price as Phar Lap. She started favourite in all three wins and she continued the impressive run of well-favoured winners.
Punters have enjoyed recent success with So You Think (1.50), Makybe Diva (2.00), Sunline (2.25), Might And Power (1.70) and a host of other runners to start and win as favourite.
There have been some beaten favourites, which includes Sunline, Samanatha Miss, Lonhro, Redoute's Choice and Naturalism, which lost its rider and caused punters plenty of strife.
Unlike many other races in Australia, the odds on offer are often quite low. The field size isn't very big and there are usually one or two runners that dominate the market. Punters often target these runners and only have small wagers on the roughies.
Cox Plate facts
"The greatest two minutes in sport" is the quote attributed to the Cox Plate and below are some need-to-know facts about the Moonee Valley classic.
Only six runners have completed the Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup double. Makybe Diva was the most recent in 2005.
Cox Plate form guide
There are numerous races to keep an eye on as key lead-up races to the Cox Plate. The Caulfield Guineas, Toorak Handicap and the Yalumba Stakes have stood the test of time.
It also pays to follow the Underwood Stakes, Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and the Makybve Diva Stakes. New Zealand form is also highly-regarded but they often have runs in Australia before lining up at Moonee Valley.
Past Cox Plate winners
|2010||So You Think|
|2009||So You Think|
|2006||Fields Of Omaha|
|2003||Fields Of Omaha|
|1998||Might And Power|
|1993||The Phantom Chance|
|1990||Better Loosen Up|
|1988||Our Poetic Prince|