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Cox Plate Winners: Famous moments in Cox Plate history

  • Who are the best ever winners of the Cox Plate?
  • We take a look at some of the best moments
Makybe Diva wins the Cox Plate

Known as the weight-for-age championship, the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) has been won by some of racing's biggest names down the years.

Established in 1924, the Cox Plate is a Group 1 for horses aged three years or older held at Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. 

It is a race run over a distance of 2040m and routinely showcases many of the world’s leading thoroughbred racehorses doing battle for a share of the $3 million-plus prize pool.

Here we take a look back at five of the most famous Cox Plate victors.

So You Think (2009 and 2010)

The victory of So You Think in 2010, the second of his career, will long be remembered throughout Cox Plate history. The strapping beast of a horse annihilated his field after travelling superbly into the lead as they turned for home. Bart Cummings’ galloper oozed class throughout the entire race and never looked troubled inside the closing stages. It was So You Think's second consecutive Cox Plate win following victory in 2009 and he was later purchased by breeding heavyweight Coolmore where he went on to enjoy further race-winning success in Europe under the guidance of Aidan O’Brien.

Sunline (1999 and 2000)

The 2000 renewal of the Cox Plate produced quite possibly the greatest victory in Sunline. The great mare demolished her opposition to win the Cox Plate by seven lengths, easing down at the finish. It was a victory that will live long in Australian thoroughbred racing memory as the horse won her second Cox Plate crown by beating a number of Group 1 champions. She travelled up closely with the pace before leading with 600m to run, where Sunline continued to lengthen inside the closing stages, equalling the record winning distance as she added to her 1999 success.

Dulcify (1979)

When sauntering away with the 1979 Cox Plate, Dulcify in turn recorded history by setting a new winning distance record. The seven lengths Dulcify put between himself and his closest rival was unlike anything ever witnessed in a Cox Plate before. The field featured a rock-solid Group 1 contender in Shivaree, though Dulcify quickly dispatched that rival with a breaktaking performance. It was a winning time that ranked among the five fastest in modern racing history and one in which cemented Dulcify’s name amongst the sport’s prestigious Hall Of Fame. 

Kingston Town (1980, 1981 and 1982)

Kingston Town set a phenomenal record in 1982 when becoming the first ever horse to win three Cox Plate crowns. It was a moment that shaped the sport’s history as Kingston Town was awarded the label of being horse racing’s first millionaire racehorse in Australia. The third Cox Plate win ranks as amongst the horse’s finest after he came from an incredibly tough race position to claim victory inside the closing stages. Commentator at the time Bill Collins said during the contest that Kingston Town was in an unwinnable spot, however, the great horse proved all doubters wrong to saunter to victory and win a historic third Cox Plate.

Bonecrusher (1986)

The title ‘The Race Of The Century’ was granted to the 1986 running of the Cox Plate following a breathtaking contest. It was billed as a battle between New Zealand Derby champion Bonecrusher and fellow Kiwi legend Our Waverley Star. Both horses arrived at Moonee Valley surrounded by much anticipation for what the race would create, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Our Waverley Star and Bonecrusher were both neck-and-neck throughout the contest before Bonecrusher looked to take a slender lead into the home straight. However, Our Waverley Star quickly responded and seemed to edge ahead inside the closing stages. But the race was far from over as Bonecrusher produced one last memorable challenge to get his head in front at the finishing line to win one of the greatest battles Australian racing has ever seen. 

Winx

The star mare made it back-to-back Cox Plate victories in 2016 as he remarkable winning run continued in effortless style as she romped to successive victories in the Moonee Valley feature. Winx won by 4.8 lengths in 2015 when comprehensively beating Criterion, but went even further when destroying the field last year as the mare and Hugh Bowman left them trailing in their wake en route to an eight length demolition of Hartnell.


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Cox Plate Winners: Famous moments in Cox Plate history

The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) has been won by some of racing's biggest names down the years, and we take a look at some of the best.

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