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The Cox Plate is a Group One Australian horse race run at Moonee Valley Racecourse over 2,040 metres. It is historically run a week after the Caulfield Cup, and a week before Derby Day.
Named after William Samuel Cox, the founder of the Moonee Valley Racing Club in 1883, the Cox Plate is often referred to as Australia's weight-for-age championship. In other words, it is the grand final for the best WFA horses in the land, as well as any international raiders who fancy their chances against our best.
First run in 1922 for an initial cash prize of 1,000 pounds, the race has grown in stature year on year, and now boasts a whopping prize purse of $5,000,000.
Some of the past winners of the race are amongst the greatest horses in Australian equine history. The likes of Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Might and Power, Makybe Diva and in recent years Winx have all powered to victory over the unusual 2,040 metre distance at the small, tight-turning track.
The Cox Plate has also witnessed some of the greatest finishes in Australia's racing. Bill Collins' call of the ding dong battle between Bonecrusher and Waverley Star from the 800-metre post to the line in 1986 will long be remembered. Collins also featured in the unforgettable 1982 edition, when he declared that Kingston Town "couldn't win" on the turn, only to call him home the winner as he catapulted off the turn to fly home.
But in recent times, it has been all about the Waller-trained and Bowman-ridden Winx. The mighty mare has won every year since 2015, as she looks to cement herself as Australia's greatest ever weight for age racehorse.
In 2018, Winx will look to surpass Kingston Town's three consecutive wins and make it four on the trot, putting to bed the argument of who really is Australia's greatest ever racehorse.
In 2017, Winx was given an almighty challenge by Humidor, in one of the most nerve-racking Cox Plate final hundred metres in living memory.