If you hear an Australian talk about ‘the greatest two minutes in sport’, there’s a fair chance they are referencing The Cox Plate. It’s the second richest weight for age race held, although many in the know will call it as the Australian WFA championship. It is also in the top four of Australia’s annual richest race list. The Cox Plate field is limited to fourteen of the very best three-year-olds and open class horses, with four emergencies.
The race is held at Moonee Valley, with its tight turns, and is named in honour of William Samuel Cox, who founded this iconic track. It makes the last Saturday in October each year one of the great days of the Australian horse racing calendar. The field for the 2040m Group One race is released on the Tuesday before the Saturday of the race. This forms part of the terrific Cox Plate Carnival which starts on the Friday with the Manikato Stakes Night.
As you would expect, this terrific race has a history of great horses emerging victorious. Simply using the name Phar Lap – the shortest priced favourite ever - tells you much about what we mean. From its first running in 1922, through to Winx emerging victorious in 2016, it has captured the attention of not just racing fans but the whole Australian public. Of course, the fact that the winner earns a direct entry into the Melbourne Cup simply adds to a race where thrilling drama is a yearly occurrence.
1954 was a truly stellar year. Rising Fast, believed by many to be New Zealand’s greatest ever racehorse, astonishingly emerged triumphant in the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and then the Melbourne Cup. Never before – and probably never again!
The standing in which this race is held is reflected in the fact that early nominated entries for the event, taken back in August, will often reach up towards the 200 mark. This is then followed by various declaration stages which whittles the race down to those final and confirmed acceptors. Many horses arrive at The Cox Plate via earlier featured races in the spring, such as the Caulfield and the Turnbull Stakes.
There is little that thrills a punter more than picking out the winner of this superb racing battle. Of course, a little professional help is often appreciated, with such a classy field always being assembled. Our team of highly professional and experienced analysts carefully dissect the event and entries, giving each individual horse careful consideration. We also investigate the many possible betting strategies available for this hugely popular race. The Cox Plate tips our experts offer can appeal to the seriously minded gambler, as well as those of us who simply like the occasional bet on our country’s top horse racing occasions. It’s also worth checking around various online bookmaker options as Cox Plate odds often vary from one to the other as they aim to make the most of this hugely important annual racing event.
Cox Plate Field and Odds
It was back in 1922 when the first Cox Plate was held on the tight turns and fast track of Moonee Valley. Although he obviously didn’t live to see it, you do wonder if course founder William Samuel Cox would have had any idea what he was putting into place when he founded the Moonee Valley Racing Club back in the 1880s. Part of his legacy, this race which bears his name, has been called ‘the greatest two minutes in sport’.
This 2040m race for three-year-olds and above truly captures the imagination of both committed gamblers and members of the Australian racing public each year – and also many for whom the occasional punt is just a bit of fun. Let’s look at how the event comes down to the 14 runners and four emergencies, for that late October Saturday in Melbourne.
Early betting on the Cox plate will begin way back in the depths of winter, long before any racing Spring Carnival kicks off. This is likely to be based on a list of all-in prices on possible runners – and it’s worth appreciating there may be up to 200 entries at the start of the whittling-down process. Punters can find some terrific value offers in these futures markets, although many prefer to hold back until the final field is both confirmed and released.
This happens around 9am on the Tuesday before Saturday’s race. At a special function in the Melbourne CBD, the barrier draw will then take place. With a tight turning fast track, much attention will be paid to this. Our experts will be on top of this so quickly: this is where you can find regular updates on the field, plus relevant form guides, and full details of each of the Cox Plate field, all online and instantly at your fingertips.
Accessing this in-depth Cox Plate form guide, with valuable odds advice, is a key reference point for dedicated punters wanting all the betting heads-up they can find. Each horse’s chances will be carefully dissected, and you’ll find useful detail such as saddlecloth numbers, barrier draw information, and the jockey for each entrant. You can then add to this with great detail of form leading into the race, win or place percentages, records at the Moonee Valley track, and over the relevant distance.
Of course, for other casual gambling Australians, a swift glance is all that’s required; providing a gut feeling of which entrant they’d like to back. This is still the best place to have that quick look! Cox Plate day is a hugely important one for Australia’s bookmaking industry, so it pays to check out the range of bets and odds being offered by different companies online. There is usually plenty of movement before final odds are set. You might also want to bet on other races too, as this is an event with a terrific seven group rated events on the festival card.
Bets placed, perhaps it’s time to salute W S Cox with a cold one, as you sit down to enjoy the thrill that his legacy provides each October.