2019 Cox Plate Winner Lys Gracieux for Japan, Beats Castelvecchio and Te Akau Shark

October 26, 2019

2019 Cox Plate Winner Lys Gracieux for Japan, Beats Castelvecchio and Te Akau Shark

Jockey Damian Lane made it three majors for the year and back-to-back Group 1 wins on successive Saturdays partnering the well-supported favourite Lys Gracieux from Japan to take out the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).

Lys Gracieux. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Japanese star Lys Gracieux stormed home to win the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Lys Gracieux ($2.60) defeated the gun three-year-old Castelvecchio ($9) with the Kiwi Te Akau Shark ($17) third in a thrilling Cox Plate trifecta just seven days on from Lane’s Caulfield Cup win aboard fellow Japanese-trained raider Mer De Glace.

Lane also rode the Golden Slipper winner earlier in the year and became the first hoop in history to do the Slipper – Caulfield Cup – Cox Plate treble in a single season.

Prepared by Yoshito Yahagi, six-year-old Heart’s Cry mare Lys Gracieux was heavily-backed in Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting and did not disappoint the punters.

Last start winner by three lengths in the Group 1 Takarazuka (2200m) back home in June, the superstar also secured a $2 million Ladbrokes bonus after dominating the 2019 Cox Plate results.

Irish raider Magic Wand led the Cox Plate field around with Black Heart Bart on her outside, while one-time favourite Mystic Journey was given every chance box seating in third.

The quick early pace and nasty wide alley meanwhile forced Lane to settle back worse than midfield on Lys Gracieux.

As they approached the turn for home, jockey Craig Williams got going on the lightweight three-year-old Castelvecchio who started his run around the outside.

Lys Gracieux was still fifth last cornering as Castelvecchio led into the final furlong.

The youngster was fully charged and flying home, but the mare from Japan was running on hot on his heels.

Coming from a spot she looked no hope from, Lys Gracieux with the bigger weight had to get to the outside and despite getting off balance around the corner, went straight past Castelvecchio to make Cox Plate history.

The first Cox Plate winner since the Winx four-peat, Lys Gracieux joined the then Irish-trained Adelaide (2014) as the only northern-hemisphere champions in the Australasian weight-for-age championship.

“Unbelievable. To grow up as a racing fan watching this race and watching my idols win this race, to now be on the honour roll is such a privilege,” an ecstatic Lane said post-win. 

“The pace was a lot stronger than I thought it would be to the first corner. I just rode her back. She got a bit keen when the pace came out of the race but gee I was confident once I got her out down the straight.

“She probably didn’t get around the track too well but was just too good anyway.”

It was also an honour for Yahagi who was at Moonee Valley over 30 years ago for the historic third straight Cox Plate victory by Kingston Town in 1982.

“I honestly thought she wasn’t going to make it from there. Damian Lane was there in Japan and rode this mare, the role started from there and came to here, it was super important. I think I mentioned a few times that I was here when Kingston Town won back in 1982, so I finally came back home to win a Cox Plate and it meant a lot to me,” Yahagi said via a translated after the race.

Defeated hoop Williams was full of post-race praise for the runner-up Castelvecchio who was so brave in defeat having his first start in open-age company.

“Wow, he was so awesome in defeat. The Japanese brought the right form. Credit to my trainer, Richard Litt, he did a great job. He was so confident that what we had on Tuesday morning, he’s a serious racehorse when it comes to having the blinkers on,” Williams said.

“I love the way he put himself in a forward position. I actually had to come back just to get him to relax because he was trying to overdo it a little bit.

“He got into a nice rhythm, travelled inside the 600m, he towed me there so I thought ‘well, we’ll see if the Japanese mare’s form is as good as suggested’. Unfortunately she was, but wow. He’s going to be a star of our carnivals to come.”

New Zealander Opie Bosson was similarly impressed by the last-to-third effort from his mount Te Akau Shark.

“He ran a blinder. He got back from the draw and was good late. Had to stay to the inside and couldn’t get out. Full credit to him. It was a good run,” he said.

As for Lane, his attention now turns to the Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) where he will reunite with the Caulfield Cup winner Me De Glace a $10 shot through Ladbrokes.com.au to continue the jockey’s fairy-tale season.

2019 Cox Plate Results & Finishing Order

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Barrier Weight SP
1 9 LYS GRACIEUX (JPN) Yoshito Yahagi Damian Lane 11 57kg $2.50F
2 14 CASTELVECCHIO Richard Litt Craig Williams 1.5L 3 49.5kg $8.50
3 7 TE AKAU SHARK (NZ) Jamie Richards Opie Bosson 3.5L 14 59kg $17
4 10 MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore 3.9L 2 57kg $9
5 12 MYSTIC JOURNEY Adam Trinder Anthony Darmanin 4.1L 5 55.5kg $7.50
6 6 KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 6.6L 13 59kg $26
7 2 AVILIUS (GB) James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 7.1L 6 59kg $13
8 4 HARLEM (GB) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 7.85L 1 59kg $61
9 1 BLACK HEART BART Lindsey Smith Brad Rawiller 8.05L 10 59kg $41
10 11 CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Mark Zahra 8.35L 7 56.5kg $21
11 5 HOMESMAN (USA) Liam Howley Ben Melham 8.45L 12 59kg $31
12 13 VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ) Chris Waller James McDonald 10.45L 4 55.5kg $21
13 3 KLUGER (JPN) Tomokazu Takano Tommy Berry 12.45L 8 59kg $21
14 8 DANCETERIA (FR) David Menuisier Jamie Spencer 20.2L 9 59kg $21

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Military Mission Fires in 2023...

Zipping Classic 2023 Field �...

Zipping Classic 2023 Field & Odds Update: Vow And Declare Defends Title

Danny O’Brien’s 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare continues to show a...

Overpass Heads 2023 Winterbott...

Overpass Heads 2023 Winterbottom Stakes Field & Betting Markets

Bjron Baker’s The Everest performer Overpass is tipped to return to winning...

Osipenko Leads The Gong 2023 R...

Osipenko Leads The Gong 2023 Race Field & Betting

The Chris Waller-trained Pierro four-year-old Osipenko is firm favourite in...

2023 Railway Stakes Field ...

2023 Railway Stakes Field & Betting Update: Tuvalu Narrow Favourite

The Lindsey Smith-trained top-weight Tuvalu is narrow favourite in the latest...

Horse Racing Today

2024 Golden Slipper Odds Firm ...

Oakleigh Plate 2024 Results: Q...

Oakleigh Plate 2024 Results: Queman Wins In Upset Thriller

In a big win for South Australia the Shane & Cassie Oxlade-trained Queman...

2024 Randwick Guineas Odds Fir...

2024 Randwick Guineas Odds Firm on Hobartville Winner Celestial Legend

The Les Bridge-trained grey Celestial Legend came with a brilliant late run at...

2024 Blue Diamond Stakes Resul...

2024 Blue Diamond Stakes Results: Hayasugi Becomes Second Filly in History to Complete Treble

Clinton McDonald’s tenacious filly Hayasugi defied her big price to make...

Mr Brightside Wins Futurity St...

Mr Brightside Wins Futurity Stakes 2024 Ahead of All-Star Mile, Australian Cup Targets

Lindsay Park’s Caulfield maestro Mr Brightside once again showed his champion...

Race Results

2024 Golden Slipper Odds Firm on Skyline Stakes Winner Storm Boy

Oakleigh Plate 2024 Results: Queman Wins In Upset Thriller

2024 Randwick Guineas Odds Firm on Hobartville Winner Celestial Legend

2024 Blue Diamond Stakes Results: Hayasugi Becomes Second Filly in History to Complete Treble

Mr Brightside Wins Futurity Stakes 2024 Ahead of All-Star Mile, Australian Cup Targets

Race Previews

Riff Rocket Heads 2024 Australian Guineas Field & Betting

Surround Stakes 2024 Field & Odds Update: Favourite Tipped to Fly

2024 Verry Elleegant Stakes Field & Betting Update: Fangirl Odds-On to Score Emotional Win for Waller

2024 Ladbrokes Launceston Cup Field & Betting Update: Aurora’s Symphony Chases Three-Peat

2024 Blue Diamond Stakes Tips & Best Bets

Fields & Form

2024 Golden Slipper Odds Firm on Skyline Stakes Winner Storm Boy

Riff Rocket Heads 2024 Australian Guineas Field & Betting

Surround Stakes 2024 Field & Odds Update: Favourite Tipped to Fly

2024 Verry Elleegant Stakes Field & Betting Update: Fangirl Odds-On to Score Emotional Win for Waller

2024 Ladbrokes Launceston Cup Field & Betting Update: Aurora’s Symphony Chases Three-Peat