Ever since the inaugural race in 1922, the legendary Cox Plate flat race has attracted horseracing fans the world over in their droves.
Part of the ‘Triple Crown’ of racing events in Australia, nestled neatly inbetween the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate stands alone when it comes the prestige of the flat. As an event renowned for its speed – only the quickest, most talented horses make the starting gate – the Cox Plate rightly takes its place as one of the most adrenaline-pumping on the planet, and the 2015 edition will be no different.
The history of Cox Plate
Any Australian racing fan worth his or her salt will know who William Samuel Cox is. One of the main players that brought thoroughbred horse racing to the masses to the land Down Under way back when, William purchased a patch of ground with the idea to construct a racecourse. In 1883, Mr Cox made good on his promise, and that nondescript area became the legendary Moonee Valley Racing Club.
However, it wasn’t until 1922 that the first Cox Plate was run. The first jockey and horse to cross the line was promised the sum of 1,000 pounds – an astronomical amount back then – and the honour went to the British stallion Violencello. The horse started as one of the favourites, having won the Caulfield Cup the year previous. Violencello’s achievement was made all the greater by the fact that he had only started a few times in Australia, blowing away many native thoroughbreds who were more used to the land’s markedly different going.
The Cox Plate typically lasts for a hectic two minutes, the fast and furious course stretching for 2,040 metres, never failing to draw the excited shouts of encouragement from the stands as hooves thunder down the turf. Today, the winner’s purse is a little more than the 1,000 pounds that was on offer in 1922 – it’s closer to $3,050,000, making it the third-richest race in Australia, just behind the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup.
Nearly a century on, still a marvellous spectacle
The Cox Plate 2015 promises to be one of the most intriguing yet, as outstanding horses from New Zealand, Great Britain and Australia itself canter on down for this year’s event. If you fancy a flutter, soaking in the atmosphere and grandeur of the weekend, there’s no better way than to attend the meet itself. It’s a world apart from watching it on television, even with today’s technological advances. No world-class sound system and high-definition L.E.D. screen can compete with the primeval roar of the crowd, the nervousness and anticipation of the punters as they will their steed to edge ahead, or the sights and smells of an historic racecourse.
With Perth-based travel agency Motive Travel, you can get as close to the equestrian action as possible. We have put together a fantastic package, tailor-made for racing fans, that allows you to immerse yourself fully in the prestige of the event. There’s no finer way to attend the Cox Plate Tour 2015 than with what we can offer, which is quite a bit more than just the historic race itself.
For starters, we’ll fly you out of Perth on the national carrier, Qantas, taking you to the beautiful Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne, with two nights’ accommodation booked in. On race day, try your best to hide your excitement as you are granted entry to the Moonee Valley Racing Club, with your grandstand seats already reserved, alongside a race book that’ll guide you succinctly through all of the weekend’s action.
That’s not even the half of it. You will be treated like royalty in the Celebrity Room as you enjoy a sumptuous four-course meal, all whilst in the company of the revered Harvey Crossman, a well known face on the racing scene who is sure to dispense a few insider tips as the who the weekend’s winner might be!
And they’re off…