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Key facts about the Cox Plate

W S COX PLATE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

* Group One, $5 million, weight-for-age, 2040m, to be run at Moonee Valley on Saturday, October 27, 2017

HISTORY

* First run in 1922 when the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee voted for a high-quality, weight-for-age race

* British seven-year-old stallion Violoncello won the first Cox Plate a year after winning the 44th Caulfield Cup

* Named after William Samuel Cox, founder of Moonee Valley racecourse in 1883, who died in 1892 aged 64

* A tight turning, StrathAyr (turf with sand base) track with 1805m circumference and 173m home straight

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Phar Lap (1930, -31), Ajax (1938), Rising Fast (1954), Tulloch (1960), Tobin Bronze (1966, -67), Dulcify (1979), Kingston Town (1980, 81, 82), Bonecrusher (1986), Might And Power (1998), Sunline (1999, 2000), Northerly (2001, 02), Makybe Diva (2005), So You Think (2009, 10), Adelaide (2014) and Winx (2015, 16, 17)

* Late trainer TJ Smith won a record seven times with Redcraze (1957), Tulloch (1960), Gunsynd (1972), Kingston Town (1980, 1981, -82) and Red Anchor (1984)

* Late jockey Darby Munro won a record five times with Rogilla (1933), Young Idea (1937), Mosaic (1939), Beau Vite (1941) and Hydrogen (1952)

TALKING POINTS

* The Chris Waller-trained mare Winx is the favourite, chasing her 29th straight win, fourth Cox Plate and 22nd Group One win

* Kingston Town won three Cox Plates in 1980, 81 and 82

* Kingston Town was ridden by a different jockey each time whereas Hugh Bowman will be again be aboard Winx

* Winx won by a record eight lengths in 2016, with Sunline (2000) and Dulcify (1979) winning by seven

* In her first Cox Plate Winx set a track record of 2:02.98 and last year bettered her time, running 2:02.94

* Rising Fast (1954) is the only horse to win the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year

* Shortest-priced winner: Phar Lap (1-14 or $1.07 in 1931)

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

* “Realistically only two things can beat her and that’s bad luck or a champion” – Winx’s trainer Chris Waller

* “Back home we feel Winx is beating fairly moderate horses” – English commentator Matt Chapman

* “I’ll have her comfortable as I always do. “Is she better, it’s very hard to judge but I don’t think she’s gone backwards. “I’m a little more comfortable this year than I was last year” – Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman

* “She is a superstar, she’s the best in Australian history, but my horse is really well, he worked good yesterday and he’s in great form” – Benbatl’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor

* “I don’t think she is vulnerable, bar she has a bad day herself. And she hasn’t had one of those in 28 starts, so I doubt she’s going to have one here” – Aidan O’Brien’s representative TJ Comerford

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