When the W.S. Cox Plate was first run way back when in 1922, few would have believed that it would become the prestigious flat race that it has become today. Indeed, when British stallion Violencello crossed the line to become the inaugural winner of the event, it wasn’t then known that this impudent, determined foreign mount would become the first in a long line of legendary racehorses to take the crown.
Nowadays, some of the finest horses on the planet vie for a place in the starting paddock at the Moonee Valley Racecourse, and with Motive Travel, you could be right there among them with one of our Cox Plate tailored tours.
As a Western Australian travel agency, not only will we fly you across the nation to Melbourne on a relaxing Qantas flight, we’ll arrange a two nights’ stay at the city’s sumptuous Crown Promenade Hotel. On the day of the race itself, don’t worry about the rush to find a seat, as we at Motive Travel will have already reserved your spot, promising excellent views of the action as the hooves thunder down the hallowed turf.
Nothing can get you more in the mood for a good day’s horse racing than the sights and smells of the venue itself (okay, perhaps checking out the form guide…) but reminiscing about the great Cox Plate champions of old comes close. Here are two of the finest ever to have won this most celebrated of events:
The formidable Kingston Town remains the only horse to have won the Cox Plate on three occasions and, what’s more, they were consecutive titles – in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Trained by revered Sydney stableman Tommy Smith, Kingston Town set the hearts of the nation’s racing fans ablaze as he won his first Cox Plate, but it was in 1981 that he really caught the eye. Not only did he triumph at the Cox Plate, he also brought home the Caulfield Stakes, making him among the most valuable of racehorses on the planet.
Perhaps the most memorable Kingston Town moment occurred at the 1982 Cox Plate meeting. Chasing an unprecedented hat-trick of victories at the Mooney Valley Racecourse, but ageing in the face of many younger, up-and-coming prospects, Kingston Town was not fancied to achieve the triple dream.
Indeed, as the race drew to a close, Kingston Town was hemmed in behind the other front runners with no way past, making a victory look even more unlikely. Even respected racecaller Bill Collins, so noted for his unerring accuracy when identifying winners, got it wrong, before quickly changing his mind as Kingston Town made his way to the outside of the pack and charged to immortality:
“Kingston Town can’t win … he might win yet, the champ … Kingston Town’s swamping them, what a run … Kingston Town…”
The rest, as they say, is history.
This aptly-named stallion is one the many great horses to have made the journey across the Tasman Sea and defeat all in front of him, and it was in 1954 that the New Zealand-bred Rising Fast really made a name for himself.
This was because, during that year, he became the only horse to have ever won what is known as the Spring Grand Slam in any one season – a record which stands to this day. It’s easy to see why Rising Fast stands alone in achieving this monumental feat, as, to complete it, a horse has to win the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup and, of course, the Cox Plate.
These are three races tough enough to win just once in a racing career, so to win all three in the same season marks Rising Fast out as one of the all-time greats.
The Sportingbet Cox Plate Tour 2015 promises to be packed full of exciting tension – will another legend imprint his or her name in history? To find out, get in touch with Motive Travel today to ensure you’re as close to the action as possible!