WS Cox Plate and the Melbourne Spring Carnival

If a decent horse race gets your pulse a-racing, then the WS Cox Plate in Melbourne is the one to watch. It has been doing so for punters every spring since 1948, at the Moonee Valley Racecourse one William Samuel Cox laid out in 1883. The Cox boasts the second highest pot after the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at A$3,000,000. Being spaced between the close of football season and when cricket starts in earnest, means the race attracts an eclectic gathering.

Moonee Valley Racecourse

While not everybody wants to while away the afternoon watching horse hooves thundering around a rectangular track 1,805 metres long – and comprising a lower layer of sand and an upper rootzone layer reinforced with mesh elements – everybody loves to party, and that is the excuse for the Melbourne Spring Carnival to add to the excitement.

ws cox plate race day
Race Day, WS Cox Plate: Photo on Flickr by Ben Snooks / CC BY-SA 2.0

Melbourne Spring Carnival Festival

The Carnival is officially a sequence of two horse races with the WS Cox Plate following the Manikato Stakes the previous night, but that is only half the story. Come October 2016 the Beer Garden will be alive with Sneaky Sound on the 23rd, with legendary Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite of You’re my World fame in charge the following day.

WS cox plate Moonee Valley Girls Night Out
Moonee Valley Girls Night Out: Photo on Flickr by Rachel Hofton / CC BY 2.0

WS Cox Plate Winners

Some of the great champions of Australian and New Zealand Horse Racing have won the WS Cox Plate including three time winner Kingston Town, and two time winners Fields of Omagh, Northerly, Sunline, Tobin Bronze, Flight and the mighty Phar Lap. Winning the Cox Plate and Australia’s premier distance race, the Melbourne Cup has only been done 6 times; with this being successfully accomplished by Rising Fast, Phar Lap, Nightmarch, Saintly, Might and Power, and Makybe Diva. New Zealand champion Rising Fast is the only horse ever to have one the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup treble in the same year – 1954.

WS Cox Plate Phar Lap
Phar Lap winner of WS Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup Double: Photo on Flickr by Andrew / CC BY 2.0

The Cox Plate: What an Opportunity For a Flutter!

So much for horse racing competitions, but who will be the legend come October this year? The restaurants will be serving breakfasts, lunches, and dinners as Melbourne people know how to do in style. For some, the WS Cox Plate will be a sideshow where the girls and boys strut their stuff, and the fashionistas come to ogle. Book a hotel and hire a car. What an opportunity for a flutter!

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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  1. Events to check out in Melbourne this Spring | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] is probably no larger event in Melbourne each year than the Spring Racing Carnival. Spread out across all of Spring, from the 1st of September until the 23rd of November, the Spring […]


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