Ever since the inaugural Cox Plate was won by British stallion Violencello way back in 1922, it has taken a horse of immensely special attributes to cross the line in first. Just look at the names of great horses that have won the race in years past: Rising Fast, Makybe Diva, Phar Lap and the unrivalled Kingston Town have all had that otherworldly something that few racehorses have. So what makes an exceptional racehorse? Let’s take a look at the attributes that the winner of the Cox Plate 2015 will surely possess.
A study published in Science Daily states that approximately 80 per cent of today’s thoroughbred racehorses can trace their genes right back to the 18th century, long before the Cox Plate was a glint in W.S. Cox’s eye. What’s more, these horses can all point to the same legendary horse as an ancestor – an unbeaten beauty named Eclipse
Approximately 80 per cent of today’s thoroughbred racehorses can trace their genes right back the 18th century, long before the Cox Plate was a glint in W.S. Cox’s eye.
Though pedigree has long been a defining factor in producing the quickest of horses, it’s still not entirely understood just what makes some horses faster than others, but there are still telltale signs as to whether or not a foal will be one that regularly breaks the tape.
The build of the body
Of course, a potential champion horse is going to be an impeccable specimen. They’ll have a defined muscle structure, which will show that the horse is in optimum condition. Additionally, specialist sprinters, such as those that power through the 2,040 metres of the Cox Plate, will be even more muscled – essential for maintaining speed along the furlongs.
A coat of quality
Genes are not the be all and end all of determining a horse’s potential quality. An ancestor only five generations in the past lends just 3 per cent of his or her DNA to a foal, according to an article in The Guardian.
Sometimes, pure sight and sense is enough to make a good judgment on whether or not a horse will perform well in a race. Watch the horses in their enclosure before the race gets underway. If their coat is shiny, beautiful and full, the chances are, the animal is in the rudest of health, too, and is sure to give a good showing.
Cox Plate characteristics
Again, examine the horses an hour or so before the starting pistol sounds. The calmest horses are the ones that often perform best, as they are the ones adept at handling the pressure of the occasion. Anxious or temperamental horses are expending energy even before the race has begun, and are less likely to triumph.