The William Hill Cox Plate is undoubtedly the biggest race day on the Moonee Valley Racecourse calendar. Inaugurated in 1922, the Cox Plate is a Group 1 thoroughbred race for horses aged three years and over and is Australasia’s greatest weight-for-age race. The purse for the event is currently $3 million, making it the third richest race in Australia.
From it's humble beginnings, the race has grown in fame and popularity, making it now one of the largest sporting events in Australia. It is a pillar of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival that takes place during October and November, along with other famous meets such as the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Derby Day.
Notable winners of this great event include legends such as Phar Lap, Fields of Omagh and Makybe Diva, as well as Rising Fast, who won the Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup in the same year (1954).
During the Spring, the off season for AFL and Cricket, the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the talk of the town for Melbournians and Australians alike, as everyone becomes engulfed in the glitz and glamour of these famous race days.
It’s not just about the racing either. The Cox Plate provides an electric social atmosphere with the best fashion, food, beverages, and performances on show to create the ultimate day of entertainment. With exclusive areas such as Private Marquees, the Pure Pleasure Enclosure and the Lazy Yak Watering Hole, the Moonee Valley Racing Club caters for everyones interests. And what would a day at the Cox Plate be without a cheeky punt on the horses.
The Cox Plate has provided us with some thrilling races over the years. Think back to the 2000 Cox Plate when Sunline won her second Cox Plate by a whopping 7 lengths against a field of several champion horses including Sky Heights, Diatribe and Tie the Knot.
Even more recently in 2005, in what is considered by some as the greatest Cox Plate win ever, Australian Horse Racing legend Makybe Diva won the race in one of the best fields ever assembled.
Who knows who will take out the honour this year? Will Winx return to take the plate again after winning by five lengths last year? With the field made up of the best horses from across Australia and Internationally, the Cox Plate generates a unique buzz and element of unpredictability as anybody can win on the day, and write their name in the history books.
So when October 22nd comes around, do yourself a favour and round up some friends and family, and make your way down to the Moonee Valley Racecourse for what is sure to be a day of sun, laughs and the ultimate entertainment experience at the 2016 William Hill Cox Plate.