Champion trainer Chris Waller is giving himself a great chance of winning a fifth Ladbrokes Cox Plate trophy with eighteen nominations for the 100th running of the Weight For Age Championship at The Valley on October 24.

Verry Elleegant, above, heads up Chris Waller's nominations for the 2020 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Steve Hart.

Verry Elleegant, above, heads up Chris Waller’s nominations for the 2020 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Steve Hart.

Waller collected a record four straight wins in the Cox Plate from 2015 to 2018 with his mighty mare Winx and he has Group 1 winner’s Verry Elleegant, Funstar and Humidor heading the charge this year for the 2020 Group 1 $5m weight for age contest over the 2040m.

Included in the 182 nominations are twenty-eight internationally trained horses with champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien providing thirteen while his sons Joseph and Donnacha have entered eight and one respectively.

Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said:

“The Ladbrokes Cox Plate is one of the most coveted prizes in Australian sport and winning the 100th edition of our iconic weight-for-age championship in such unique circumstances will ensure this year’s winner is long remembered.

“There is incredible diversity in the list of entries which pleasingly represents all states of Australia and lots of star power, so the foundation is there for a race befitting such an historic occasion.

“The quality of international entries remains strong despite the current COVID-19 restrictions and the next month will ultimately determine whether these internationals horses can compete in the 100th Cox Plate.”

Below are notable points of interest among the list of Cox Plate entries as provided by Racing Victoria.

  • There are eight horses that contested the 2019 Cox Plate nominated – Magic Wand (4th), Mystic Journey (5th), Kings Will Dream (6th), Harlem (8th), Cape of Good Hope (10th), Homesman (11th), Verry Elleegant (12th) and Danceteria (14th);
  • Four-time Cox Plate-winning trainer Chris Waller has entered a race high 18 horses headlined by star mares Verry Elleegant and Funstar and including recent stable acquisition dual Cox Plate placegetter Humidor;
  • Last season’s Group 1 winning juveniles Farnan (Golden Slipper), King’s Legacy (Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes) and Tagaloa (Blue Diamond) are among the 42 Southern Hemisphere three-year-old entries along with Magic Millions winning filly Away Game;
  • Joining Russian Camelot among the 14 Northern Hemisphere three-year-olds on the entry list are 2020 Group 1 winners Kameko (2000 Guineas); Peaceful (Irish 1000 Guineas) and Fancy Blue (Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes);
  • The New Zealand-trained entries are spearheaded by Horse of the Year Melody Belle, and a classy group of four-year-olds including her stablemate Probabeel, Australian Derby winner Quick Thinker and New Zealand Oaks winner Jennifer Eccles; and
  • Master of Wine, Surprise Baby, King of Leogrance and Oceanex are among the leading contenders for the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and Lexus Melbourne Cup that have been nominated for the weight-for-age showdown.

First acceptances for the Cox Plate will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 8 September.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.