2020

Form Focus Fact Sheet

The 100th Cox Plate

2040m  /  Group 1  /  Weight-For-Age  /  First run: 1922
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Discover More About The Cox Plate Here:

The Moonee Valley Racing Club conducted their first W.S. Cox Plate on Saturday, October 28, 1922. Conducted over 9.5 furlongs at WFA, the race carried stake-money of 1,000 pounds – 500 pounds less than the Moonee Valley Cup.

Imported 7yo Violoncello was the inaugural winner, the stallion landing in Australia the previous year. He had won the 1921 Caulfield Cup before a second in the Melbourne Stakes. He then finished unplaced in the 1921 Melbourne Cup.

Trained in Sydney by C.H. (Cecil) Bryans for noted owner Sir Samuel Hordern, Violoncello (post Cox Plate) enjoyed a stunning week at the 1922 VRC Cup Carnival, taking home the Cantala Mile (with 9.7), the Linlithgow Stakes (8f) and the Fisher Plate (12f). He was ridden in all four feature wins by NSW-based J. (Jack) King.

The race distance was changed to 10 furlongs in 1943, updated to 2000m with metrics being introduced in 1972. In 1974, the distance became 2050m, then in 1985 changed to 2040m. The race was divided in 1946.

The Cox Plate honour roll goes on virtually forever with 4-time winner Winx and triple winner Kingston Town heading the list. Dual winners include Phar Lap, Chatham, Tobin Bronze, Northerly, Sunline, So You Think alongside greats such as Tulloch, Rising Fast, Makybe Diva, Gunsynd, Ajax, Amounis, Might and Power, Dulcify, Redcraze & Heroic. Special mention goes to 1976 winner Surround – the only 3yo filly to win this event.

T.J. (Tommy) Smith holds the training record with 7 wins, ahead of Jack Holt (6), Bart Cummings (5) & Chris Waller (4). On 3 wins are Colin Hayes, Frank McGrath & Roy Shaw. Deidre Stein (Rising Prince-1985) & Moira Murdoch (Solvit-1994) are the two women trainers to win a Cox Plate.

Leading Cox Plate jockey is Darby Munro with five, one clear of Hugh Bowman, Jack Purtell & Brent Thomson (4). On 3 wins are Harold Badger, Glen Boss & Neville Sellwood.

Profile

YEAR T/R WINNER TRAINER JOCKEY A/S OR
2019 G4-TRUE LYS GRACIEUX Y YAHAGI D LANE 6M 119
2018 G3-TRUE WINX C WALLER H BOWMAN 7M 130
2017 G3-TRUE WINX C WALLER H BOWMAN 6M 132
2016 S5-TRUE WINX C WALLER H BOWMAN 5M 127
2015 G3-3M WINX C WALLER H BOWMAN 4M 115
2014 G3-3M ADELAIDE A O'BRIEN R MOORE 4H 115
2013 G3-3M SHAMUS AWARD D O'BRIEN C SCHOFIELD 3C 92
2012 G4-3M OCEAN PARK G HENNESSY G BOSS 4H 114
2011 G4-TRUE PINKER PINKER G EURELL C WILLIAMS 4M 108
2010 G4-TRUE SO YOU THINK J B CUMMINGS S ARNOLD 4H 120

T/R: (Track/Rail):

The most recent slow/soft tracks are 2005 (Makybe Diva), 2000 (Sunline) with 1975 (Fury’s Order) the last time that the Cox Plate encountered heavy ground.

Trainers:

Waller (4-Winx), Aidan O’Brien (2014), Danny O’Brien (2013) & John Hawkes (Octagonal-1995) are previous winners.

Jockeys:

Riders involved in 2020 that are previous winners: Boss (2009, 2012), Oliver (1997, 2001), Williams (2006, 2011), Lane (2019), Rodd (2008).

A/S (Age & Sex):

Fields of Omagh (2006) is the oldest winner (9yo). A 3yo has won 20 times (1 filly) while mares account for 14 wins (from 8 individual mares).

OR (Official Handicap Rating):

Except for the 3yo Shamus Award (92), all past 10 winners were rated 108 and higher going into their respective Cox Plates.

Punting

YEAR WINNER BR FIELD SP FAV FAV SP FP
2019 LYS GRACIEUX 11 14 $2.50F LYS GRACIEUX $2.50F 1ST
2018 WINX 6 8 $1.24F WINX $1.24F 1ST
2017 WINX 5 8 $1.18F WINX $1.18F 1ST
2016 WINX 3 10 $1.80F WINX $1.80F 1ST
2015 WINX 1 14 $4.60F WINX $4.60F 1ST
2014 ADELAIDE 13 14 $8 FAWKNER $4.40F 2ND
2013 SHAMUS AWARD 3 14 $21.00 IT'S A DUNDEEL $4F 8TH
2012 OCEAN PARK 9 14 $6 GREEN MOON $5F 7TH
2011 PINKER PINKER 11 14 $26 HELMET $2.80F 8TH
2010 SO YOU THINK 5 10 $1.50F SO YOU THINK $1.50F 1ST

Barriers:

Since 1956 (mechanised gates first used), barrier positions 12 & 14 have not produced a winner. Major outs include gate 8 (1957) & gate 10 (1986). Barriers 1 to 7 account for 46 of the past 64 winners (71.8% SR).

SP (Favourite):

With a strike-rate of 42%, the outright favourite has enjoyed a solid journey in 99 editions. Note: when the favourite gets out longer than $3.20, it wins at only 13% SR.

Longshots:

Leonard (1946) & Mosaic (1939) share the honours, scoring at 50/1. There have been just 10 Cox Plate winners priced at $21 or longer.

Hotpots:

Phar Lap was 1/14f when scoring in 1931 and 1/7f in 1930. Overall, 23 favourites have started odds-on, 17 winning.

Performance

YEAR WINNER A/S OR LAST START L3 NEXT RACE
2019 LYS GRACIEUX 6M 119 1st G1 2200m Takarazuka (125) 2-3-1. 1st Arima Kinen
2018 WINX 7M 130 1st G1 2000m Turnbull (21) 1-1-1. SPELL
2017 WINX 6M 132 1st G1 2000m Turnbull (21) 1-1-1. SPELL
2016 WINX 5M 127 1st G1 2000m Caul Stks (14) 1-1-1. SPELL
2015 WINX 4M 115 1st G1 1600m Epsom (21) 1-1. SPELL
2014 ADELAIDE 4H 115 3rd G2 2400m Niel (41) 2-1-3. SPELL
2013 SHAMUS AWARD 3C 92 3rd G1 1600m Caul Gneas (14) 7-2-3. SPELL
2012 OCEAN PARK 4H 114 1st G1 2000m Caul Stks (14) 1-1-1. 3rd Mackinnon
2011 PINKER PINKER 4M 108 2nd G1 1600m Epsom (21) 1-2-2. SPELL
2010 SO YOU THINK 4H 120 1st G1 Caul Stks (14) 1-1-1. 1st Mackinnon

Last Start:

Compelling evidence to suggest you bring A-Grade form to the Cox Plate. Maldivian (2008) & El Segundo (2007) are the only winners this century to finish worse than fifth in their final lead-up start, (days since last start shown in brackets).

L3 (Last 3 Starts):

Again, this data-panel illustrates that solid recent form invariably holds up into the race. Two winners this century contested the Caulfield Cup: Northerly (2002) & Maldivian (2008).

Next Race:

Job done it appears for the majority of the past ten winners. The Mackinnon now positioned 14 days away (historically a week), the obvious next race option.

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Final Thoughts

Negative:

Emulating either Winx or Kingston Town is a daunting prospect, but this is what Kolding must achieve if he is to win the Cox Plate. A total of 34 George Main winners have contested the Cox Plate (same year) and those two afore-mentioned stars are the only horses to complete the double: Winx (3 times) & Kingston Town (2 times). Some George Main winners to fail include Lonhro (2003), More Joyous (2010, Racing to Win (2006) & Grand Armee (2004).

Three 3yos have won the Cox Plate (via the Caulfield Guineas) over the past 30 years: Shamus Award (2013), So You Think (2009) & Octagonal (1995), all finished top 5 in the Guineas. Whilst it's fair to compare Grandslam to that trio on that basis alone, his prior form fails to match up. Octagonal & So You Think were Group winners, while Shamus Award was multiple G2 placed, despite being a Maiden.

Beware:

The Epsom Hcp-Cox Plate double is another rarity, Winx in 2015 becoming just the fourth horse to take this double, and the first since 1959 (the 3yo Noholme). The other two are legends of the track, Chatham (1932) & Nightmarch (1929). A further 29 Epsom winners tried their luck at Cox Plate glory with only six landing a placing. Probabeel became just the third 4yo mare to claim the Epsom since 1976, however, based on historical precedents, she must go to a completely different level here to win.

Positive:

The global powerhouse that is Coolmore/Ballydoyle has aimed the ultra-consistent Armory at the 2020 Cox Plate, this NH-bred 4yo more than comparable to past Cox Plate aspirants prepared by the yard - Adelaide (1st-2014), Highland Reel (3rd-2015), Rostropovich (5th-2018) and Magic Wand (4th-2019). A career PB last start in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes, third to two of Europe’s finest mid-distance horses (Magical & Ghaiyyath), comfortably places Armory on top.

There is little between Arcadia Queen & Russian Camelot, both securing victories in key Cox Plate reference races, the Caulfield & Underwood Stakes. Whilst barrier 14 is a definite obstacle for Russian Camelot, a rain-affected surface may also present a problem for Arcadia Queen.

Sir Dragonet is a horse that would be favoured by soft going. He’s invariably hopeless from the gates, so will need tempo and luck to go his way. If the weather turns totally sour and conditions plunge into the heavy range, expect a more patiently ridden Master of Wine to improve dramatically.

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