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Cox Plate Tips: How to pick the winner of the 2017 Cox Plate

  • Factors to consider ahead of the 2016 Cox Plate
  • Which horses fits with the criteria of a Cox Plate winner?

Attempting to find the Cox Plate winner is no simple task but there are some important factors that can help you. 

The Moonee Valley showpiece is a race viewed by many as one of the most prestigious in world racing and routinely attracts the very best thoroughbreds from around the globe. 

There are many differing factors to account for when looking to pick the winner of the Cox Plate. From track suitability, barrier draw, race pace and weight, it is important all bases are covered when reading race form. 

Here we take a look at some of the key areas worth noting in pursuit of the Cox Plate champion.


Moonee Valley Racecourse is no average track. The rectangle-like nature offers a unique test for the Cox Plate field. A number of lengthy left-handed turns at Moonee Valley forces the need for balance and agility as well as the ability to travel strongly. 

Race-positioning also plays a major role in races at Moonee Valley; the short home-straight means the need to be placed effectively is paramount as it can hinder the chances of those racing reservedly. Moonee Valley is renowned for producing plenty of in-running interference during the closing stages of races, in particular in the Cox Plate as a considerable amount of runners seek glory in such a competitive race.

Barrier Draw

Throughout the 21st century, Moonee Valley Racecourse has been increasingly regarded as a front-runners course. Those drawn low routinely perform best when seeking an early lead due to the fact that the short final straight gives little time to make up ground from the rear. With the home-straight so limited, it allows prominent runners to gain a crucial first run on their rivals. 

Over the Cox Plate distance of 2040m, the consensus is that those starting from a wide stall are at an immediate disadvantage due to there being a sweeping left-handed turn after the opening 200m. Therefore the need to be placed in a kind, single-digit barrier is crucial to a horse’s winning claims, especially in the showpiece Cox Plate event.

Race Form

The Cox Plate is now regarded as amongst racing’s biggest international races and, therefore, attracts a diverse field to Moonee Valley each year. Amongst these contenders includes horses from Britain, Ireland, America and Asia, making it more difficult to balance race form between each runner. However, there are a number of contests within Australia that have played a major role in finding the Cox Plate. These include the Caulfield Stakes and Turnbull Stakes - both over a distance of 2000m. 

The Caulfield Stakes is a Group 1 for three-year-olds and older and acts as the perfect stepping stone to the Cox Plate later in October. Throughout the 21st century there have been a number of horses, including So You Think in 2010, to have completed the Caulfield Stakes and Cox Plate double, proving that the Caulfield Group 1 is the most notable lead-up into Moonee Valley’s highlight event.


The Cox Plate is a premier weight-for-age contest and the weights can favour a talented three-year-old. Runners aged three carry 49.5kg with four-year-olds shouldering 57.5kg and five-year-olds and upwards carrying 59kg under the terms of the race. It is worth noting that fillies and mares are allocated a 2kg allowance. 

However, the trends during the 21st century suggest that heavy weight carrying performances are not uncommon in the Cox Plate where the consensus is placed more on how horses are drawn, with low numbers proving the most profitable.

Our experts assess all the Cox Plate runners, form, barrier draws, speedmap and more to help come up with our 2017 Cox Plate tips to help you back the winner.

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Cox Plate Tips: How to pick the winner of the 2017 Cox Plate

Attempting to find the Cox Plate winner is no simple task but there are some important factors that can help you.

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