Cox Plate History & Records

The inaugural Cox Plate was won by the imported stallion Violoncello, ridden by J King, in 1922. The race is named in honour of the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s founder, William Samuel Cox. Considered the weight-for-age championship of Australasia, in 1999 the WS Cox Plate’s importance and status was highlighted when it was included in the World Series Racing Championship. It is the only southern hemisphere race included in this global “grand prix” of thoroughbred racing.

The final field of runners is always made up of the finest horses and many true turf champions have claimed multiple Cox Plate victories including Phar Lap, Flight, Tobin Bronze, Sunline, Northerly and Fields Of Omagh.

The Cox Plate began as a principal race run over ten furlongs and was converted to 2000m in 1972. A few years later in 1974 the race distance was changed to its current length of 2040m. In 1979 when the event first reached its Group 1 status it was run over 2000m for one year, before the distance was changed again in 1980 to 2050m. This was also the year when the legendary Kingston Town won his first of an eventual three successive Cox Plates, the only horse to amass three victories in the race. In 1988 the length went back to 2040m and has remained the same up until today.

As one of Australia’s oldest premier racing events, Cox Plate history is long and rich, and although often irrelevant to modern racing, it doesn’t hurt to have as much knowledge as possible when having a punt.

WS Cox Plate Records:

Time Record:
2:02.98 set by Winx in 2015 on the current StrathAyr track. Prior to the installation of this track Better Loosen Up ran 2:01.05 in 1990.
Shortest Priced Winner:
Phar Lap at 1/14 in 1931.
Longest Priced Winners:
Leonard (1946) and Mosaic (1939) both at 50/1.
Most Successful Trainer:
TJ Smith won an impressive seven times with Redcraze (1957), Tulloch (1960), Gunsynd (1972), Kingston Town (1980, 1981, 1982) and Red Anchor (1984).
Most Successful Jockey:
Darby Munro managed an amazing five win on Rogilla (1933), Young Idea (1987), Mosaic (1939), Beau Vite (1941) and Hydrogen (1952).
Largest Winning Margin:
Dulcify (1979) and Sunline (1999) both won the race by seven lengths.