|Class||Weight for Age|
Lys Gracieux ($2.50)
First run in 1922, the Cox Plate has become one of Australia's greatest horse races, with some regarding it as the second-best race after the Melbourne Cup. It is run on the Saturday before Derby Day, ten days before the race that stops a nation.
The reason that Cox Plate is so special is the quality needed to win. It is regarded as Australia's weight-for-age championship, meaning that it is is the grand final for the best WFA horses in the land, as well as any international raiders who fancy their chances against our best.
Quite a few of the horses on the honour roll of the Cox Plate rank amongst the greatest horses in Australian equine history. The likes of Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Might and Power, Makybe Diva and in recent years Winx have all powered to victory over the unusual 2,040 metre distance at the small, tight-turning track.
The Cox Plate has also witnessed some of the greatest finishes in Australia's racing. Bill Collins' call of the ding dong battle between Bonecrusher and Waverley Star from the 800-metre post to the line in 1986 will long be remembered.
Collins also featured in the unforgettable 1982 edition, when he declared that Kingston Town "couldn't win" on the turn, only to call him home the winner as he catapulted off the turn to fly home.
However, in recent years, it has been all about the Waller-trained and Bowman-ridden Winx.
In 2018, the mighty mare surpassed Kingston Town's three consecutive Cox Plate victories to make it four on-the-trot.
With the expectations of the nation on her back, Winx fought off a gutsy challenge from Godolphin horse Benbatl to claim line honours.
This cemented her as Australia's greatest ever weight-for-age racehorse in what was her final ever race in Melbourne.
Last year's Winx-less Cox Plate saw one of the most competitive fields assembled in recent memory.
Rounding the turn into the home straight, star colt Castelvecchio kicked away and looked to have the race sewn up. But that was until race favourite and Japanese superstar Lys Gracieux stormed down the outside.
The mare showed just how good the horses from Japan are, booting away to win by a comfortable margin.