In honour of the founder of Moonee Valley, William Samuel Cox, the Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee decided to run a weight-for-age race over 2040m.
Offering a purse of 1000 Pounds, the W.S. Cox Plate was first run in 1922 and was won by imported stallion Violencello. He was a nine-year-old who the previous year had won the Caulfield Cup at only his fifth start in Australia after being brought out from England.
Strategically placed on the racing calendar between the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, the Tatts Cox Plate has become a race of great importance and prestige. It is regarded as the best weight-for-age race in Australasia and one of the most exciting race days in the world.
Since its introduction in 1922, the Tatts Cox Plate has always attracted a field of the best horses on offer. The who's who of the Australasian turf have won this race. Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might and Power, Sunline, Northerly and more recently champion mare Makybe Diva (pictured), have all etched their names on the W.S. Cox Plate Wall of Champions that now takes pride of place in the Octagonal Lounge.
Today the Tatts Cox Plate carries total prizemoney of $3m. It is the second richest race in Australia behind the Melbourne Cup.
Almost every winner has been an outstanding horse - Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might and Power, Sunline and Makybe Diva.
The list of winners reads like a Who Who's of the Australian turf.
It is hard to knock many of the winners. Last year we saw the extraordinary scenes of Bart Cummings bringing his 3yo winner from the previous year So You Think back to win it again becoming the first horse in history to do that feat.
The Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate is undoubtedly the weight-for-age Championship of Australasia.