Cox Plate

Cox Plate

Group One Betting Guide
Date: Saturday, 23 October 2021
Location: Moonee Valley Racecourse
Prize Money: $5,000,000
Distance: 2040m

The W.S Cox Plate is considered the premier weight-for-age race in the world.

Known colloquially as “the greatest two minutes in sports”, the Cox Plate is one of the most popular betting races in Australia.

While the Winx factor has presented the illusion that the Cox Plate is an easy betting race, it is actually one of the hardest-to-predict events on the Australian Group 1 calendar.

In 2018 the Cox Plate’s prize money was boosted to $5 million, making the already coveted title that much more enticing. Not only that, but the winner of the Cox Plate gains a ballot exemption entry into that year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup.

2021 Cox Plate betting odds

Sir Dragonet
Glen Boss won his fourth Cox Plate after import Sir Dragonet swept to victory at The Valley in the 2020 Cox Plate.

The Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki is a short $2.10 favourite to claim the 2021 Cox Plate, on the back of the impressive performances he has put in here in Australia since arriving from the UK.

Chris Waller’s superstar mare Verry Elleegant is the only other runner in single figures, with $8.50 available for the nine-time Group 1 winner.

Gold Trip, Anamoe, State Of Rest and 2020 winner Sir Dragonet are the only other runners given a chance.

Best Cox Plate bookmakers

The Cox Plate is one of the premier betting races of the Australian racing calendar and the bookmakers set their markets nice and early ahead of the Group 1 event.

Take a look at the banners below to read our comprehensive reviews on our trusted bookmakers ahead of your wagers on the Cox Plate.

United States Sport Table

Sport Table

Cox Plate facts and figures

The Cox Plate is Australia’s richest weight-for-age race with a current purse of AUD$5 million. The Group 1 is run over the unique distance of 2040 metres around a tight-turning Moonee Valley track in Melbourne, Victoria.

The race is named in honour of W.S Cox, the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s founder, and between 1999-2005 the race was included in the Emirates World Series Racing Championship. This series included races from England, Japan, Dubai, Hong Kong, U.S.A, Canada, France and Ireland.

The Cox Plate was first introduced in 1922 when it was won by Violoncello at odds of 2-1. In the early stages of the race, there were doubts about whether a younger horse could win (it is restricted to horses three-years-old and up), but the hot favourite Manfred won as a three-year-old in 1925 and it paved the way for many young champions to follow.

The race is a part of the Melbourne Spring Carnival with it now including a two-day Moonee Valley card featuring a Friday night meeting with another Group 1 – The Manikato Stakes – which has been won by names like Hay List, Sunline and Lankan Rupee on the honour board.

The Cox Plate is one of the main betting attractions for punters because of the favourite’s record in the race. The bookmakers favourite for the Cox Plate has a 41 per cent win rate and favourites starting at less than $2 have an amazing 70 per cent winning strike rate.

For any punter who likes to bet on even-money horses, or even blackjack and roulette players, then the Cox Plate is the best suited to that style.

Phar Lap was the shortest priced winner in history — winning in 1931 at an unbackable price of $1.07.

In 2016, champion mare Winx created history by winning the Cox Plate by a record eight lengths. The five-year-old was odds-on to win back-to-back Cox Plates.

The Chris Waller-trained mare defeated a quality field which included Hartnell, Vadamos and Black Heart Bart, but its rivals were no match for the champion.

Favourites record in Cox Plate

Makybe Diva Glenn Boss
Makybe Diva took out the 2005 Cox Plate en route to winning a third-straight Melbourne Cup.

We have already stated just how well the favourites go in the Cox Plate, but how does that statistic stack up in recent history?

In the last 10 years there have been five favourites win – Lys Gracieux, Winx (2016-2018) and So You Think.

Australia’s own Makybe Diva paid even money ($2) to win in 2005, the same year it won its third and final Melbourne Cup.

The Fred Kersley-trained Northerly was equal favourite with Lonhro at $4 in 2002 and it was Northerly that prevailed. Northerly also won in 2001 which will go down as one of the most controversial wins in Cox Plate history.

The 2011 edition was seen as a race in three between Northerly, Viscount and Sunline, with the latter starting as the $2.75 favourite with bookmakers.

Kiwi champion mare Sunline was seeking its third consecutive Cox Plate and it looked a likely outcome heading into the straight, but Northerly and Viscount came with their runs late with Northerly running in on both runners.

The interference caused by Northerly prompted Sunline to shift out on Viscount and a three-way protest was underway.

Connections of Sunline, which finished second, lodged a protest that Northerly caused interference in the concluding stages of the race, but that was countered with another protest by Viscount whose connections claimed that both Northerly and Sunline caused interference.

Both inquires resulted in no change to the finishing order and in the process Sunline was denied becoming the first runner to win three consecutive Cox Plates since Kingston Town in 1982, but Northerly went on to win again the following year.

Sunline won as favourite in 2000 at odds of $2.38 which came two years after Might And Power won paying $1.73.

Past long shot winners of the Cox Plate

Shamus Award broke the maiden in the Cox Plate

There have been plenty of long-shot winners in Cox Plate history with one of the most famous coming recently.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award entered the 2013 Cox Plate as a maiden runner, but the three-year-old blew past its rivals to win at odds of $19.

Just two years earlier, the ill-fated Pinker Pinker caused a massive boil-over when winning at $24, just a year after So You Think won paying $1.50.

So You Think’s first Cox Plate win came in 2009 when it paid a handsome $11 and Maldivian won at $9 in 2008.

One of the more popular wins came in 2006 when nine-year-old Fields Of Omagh scored its second Cox Plate win with plenty of punters getting on at $15 for the win.

The biggest long shot in recent history was when Dane Ripper won in 1997. The Bart Cummings-trained filly was partnered by jockey Damien Oliver and paid a whopping $39. The favourite was Filante at $2.38 which finished in second position.

Some future champions of the track have paid good prices in the Cox Plate. Super Impose and Kiwi gelding Surfers Paradise both paid double-figure odds which ended a long drought of long shot winners.

Surfers Paradise won in 1991 which was the first long shot winner since Family Of Man which won in 1977.

In the complete history of the Cox Plate, $49 was the most paid by any winner. This was shared by both Mosaic in 1939 and Leonard in 1946.

2020 Cox Plate result


1stSir Dragonet ($7.50)
2ndArmory ($2.70)
3rdRussian Camelot ($1.60)

Recent Cox Plate Runnings

  • Despite all eyes being on short-priced favourite Russian Camelot, it was Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s import Sir Dragonet who claimed the 2021 Cox Plate. With the track a Soft 7 by the time the Cox Plate was run, the conditions were always going to suit Sir Dragonet who brought a formidable wet track formline from the UK. Having been locked away four back on the fence, he needed a perfect steer and that is exactly was Glen Boss gave him en route to claiming his fourth Cox Plate win. A run came 400m out and the import sprinted sharply to claim the likes of Russian Camelot, Armory and Mugatoo to go on and win in convincing fashion.
  • There was plenty of hype behind the Japanese mare and favourite backers were not disappointed when Lys Gracieux wins the $5 million Cox Plate, she was breathtaking when running down Castelvecchio who gave her something to chase from the 600 metre mark, but the classy Japanese mare just had too much class for this field.
    • Could Winx do what no other horse has ever done in Australian racing and win a fourth Cox Plate? Record crowds arrived at Moonee Valley to watch history and the mighty mare delivered in spades. In an eight-horse field, Winx jumped as a $1.22 favourite and was gunning for its 29th win on the trot. After a good jump and safe run three back and one wide, Winx hit the front at the beginning of the straight and never looked troubled, gliding through to its place in history.
    • The 2017 edition of the Cox Plate was all about Winx and the mighty mare delivered. In a smaller than usual field saw Winx as the unbackable favourite, but fans of the champ would have had their hearts in their mouths as Humidor loomed up as the post approached. The Weir runner couldn’t cause the upset though, as Winx delivered the threepeat.
    • The 2016 Cox Plate was billed as a glorified match race between Winx and Hartnell, but the British raider never stood a chance. The pair broke away from the field entering the straight but the Godolphin runner was no match for the Waller gun, who sailed away to record a commanding victory. Read full report.
    • Almost unthinkable when you look at what was to come, but Winx came into her first Cox Plate running as a $4.50 hope. The mare had a decent run in transit but when the field shifted out the Waller runner hugged the rail and sprinted away from the field to record a four length win ahead of Irish superstar Highland Reel.
    • Irish master trainer Aidan O’Brien had a number of near-misses in big Australian races, but that sequence snapped when Adelaide saluted in the Cox Plate. Adelaide had to do it the hard way, circling the field and nailing race favourite Fawkner right on the line to secure a history-defining win.
    • The Cox Plate has plenty of amazing stories over its close to 100 years of history but few can boost the incredible story of Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award. The three-year-old claimed the Cox Plate as a maiden, the first horse to do so since the race’s inception. Shamus Award pinched a big break at the 200m but badly needed the line as Happy Trails stormed down the outside. Thankfully the post came as the three-year-old created history.

    Past Cox Plate winners list

    Cox Plate Past Winners
    Year Horse Jockey Trainer
    2020 Sir Dragonet Glen Boss Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
    2019 Lys Gracieux Damian Lane Yoshito Yahagi
    2018 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
    2017 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
    2016 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
    2015 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
    2014 Adelaide Ryan Moore Aidan O’Brien
    2013 Shamus Award Chad Schofield Danny O’Brien
    2012 Ocean Park Glen Boss Gary Hennessy
    2011 Pinker Pinker Craig Williams Greg Eurell
    2010 So You Think Steven Arnold Bart Cummings
    2009 So You Think Glen Boss Bart Cummings
    2008 Maldivian Michael Rodd Mark Kavanagh
    2007 El Segundo Luke Nolen Colin Little
    2006 Fields Of Omagh Craig Williams David Hayes
    2005 Makybe Diva Glen Boss Lee Freedman
    2004 Savabeel Chris Munce Graeme Rogerson
    2003 Fields Of Omagh Steven King Tony McEvoy
    2002 Northerly Patrick Payne Fred Kersley
    2001 Northerly Damien Oliver Fred Kersley
    2000 Sunline Greg Childs Trevor McKee

    Cox Plate Past Winners Pre 2000

    Cox Plate Past Winners Pre 2000
    Year Horse
    1999 Sunline
    1998 Might and Power
    1997 Dane Ripper
    1996 Saintly
    1995 Octagonal
    1994 Solvit
    1993 The Phantom Chance
    1992 Super Impose
    1991 Surfers Paradise
    1990 Better Loosen Up
    1989 Almaarad
    1988 Our Poetic Prince
    1987 Rubiton
    1986 Bonecrusher
    1985 Rising Prince
    1984 Red Anchor
    1983 Strawberry Road
    1982 Kingston Town
    1981 Kingston Town
    1980 Kingston Town
    1979 Dulcify
    1978 So Called
    1977 Family Of Man
    1976 Surround
    1975 Fury’s Order
    1974 Battle Heights
    1973 Taj Rossi
    1972 Gunsynd
    1971 Tauto
    1970 Abdul
    1969 Daryl’s Joy
    1968 Rajah Sahib
    1967 Tobin Bronze
    1966 Tobin Bronze
    1965 Star Affair
    1964 Sir Dane
    1963 Summer Regent
    1962 Aquanita
    1961 Dhaulagiri
    1960 Tulloch
    1959 Noholme
    1958 Yeman
    1957 Redcraze
    1956 Ray Ribbon
    1955 Kingster
    1954 Rising Fast
    1953 Hydrogen
    1952 Hydrogen
    1951 Bronton
    1950 Alister
    1949 Delta
    1948 Carbon Copy
    1947 Chanak
    1946 Leonard/Flight
    1945 Flight
    1944 Tranquil Star
    1943 Amana
    1942 Tranquil Star
    1941 Beau Vite
    1940 Beau Vite
    1939 Mosaic
    1938 Ajax
    1937 Young Idea
    1936 Young Idea
    1935 Garrio
    1934 Chatham
    1933 Rogilla
    1932 Chatham
    1931 Phar Lap
    1930 Phar Lap
    1929 Nightmarch
    1928 Highland
    1927 Amounis
    1926 Heroic
    1925 Manfred
    1924 The Night Patrol
    1923 Easingwold
    1922 Violoncello
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