Winx Trying to Become Fourth Mare to Win Cox Plate Twice
The 2400 m under-weight-for-age conditions make the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley the de facto championship for those conditions. If all goes well for Chris Waller’s Winx, she will join an elite group of three mares that have won the prestigious race two times.
Sunline was the most recent, winning in 1999 and 2000. Prior, it requires a 53-year travel back in time to find winner Flight in 1945 and 1946. Tranquil Star was able to accomplish the improbable just prior to Flight, winning the Cox Plate in 1942 and 1944, the only mare with two wins with an intervening year, with Amana winning in 1943. True, however, Flight’s two were interrupted by Leonard when the Cox Plate was run twice in 1946.
It is quite some time until the October 22 running of the 2016 race, so Racing Victoria currently lists over 150 nominations. Chris Waller alone has 12 nominations in addition to Winx.
Racing Victoria’s 157 nominations represent a drop compared to 2015 and 2014, but international horse nominations are up to 22 compared to 20 in 2015.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has 11 nominations and won the Cox Plate in 2014 with Adelaide, including placegetter from last year, Highland Reel, along with four Group 1 winners in Order Of St George, Deauville, The Gurkha and Hit A Bomb.