The Vo Rogue Plate is a Group 3 contest for 3 year olds and older over 1400m at Eagle Farm Racecourse under set weight conditions.
One of the newest races on the racing calendar the Vo Rogue Plate was first run in 2006 and has recently been moved from being run in December to January. Over its short history the Vo Rogue plate has seen several changes affecting its conditions.
History Of The Vo Rogue Plate
Despite being only a relatively juvenile race in Australia the Vo Rogue Plate has had a busy history with multiple track and distance changes, a rescheduled race because of Equine Flu in 2008 and no running at all in 2020.
At its inaugural running in 2006 the Vo Rogue Plate was run at Doomben over 1350m up until its planned transition to Eagle Farm in 2013. Unfortunately because of work being completed at Eagle Farm to upgrade facilities the Vo Rogue was run for a 2 year period at the Gold Coast Racecourse (2014 and 2015). The Vo Rogue plate was finally transitioned to Eagle Farm in 2016 however this was only for one year as further required work on the Farm meant the race was run back at Doomben up until 2019.
As a result of the changes in location the Vo Rogue was subsequently run over 1350m, 1300m and 1400m over its 14 year history.
In addition to changes in distance and location the Vo Rogue Plate was also upgraded from a Listed Race to a Group 3 race in 2008 with $300,000 in prize money made available for entrants.
The changes have continued with the Vo Rogue Plate in recent years with there being no running of the race in 2020 as a result of the race being moved to January 2nd 2021 in order to be a lead in race to the Magic Millions hosted in the Gold Coast later in the month.
The race in 2021 should be the home of the Vo Rogue with it being run at Eagle Farm to accommodate the Magic Millions going forward in early January.
History Of Vo Rogue
Vo Rogue was one of Australia's most decorated race horses winning 26 races through his 83 career starts including 17 Group races of which 6 were Group 1 wins. A further 5 of those Group races now carry Group 1 status.
The Bay Gelding was successful in a number of states that included Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia but his real success came in Victoria during the Autumn period.
With his powerful front running style Vo Rogue was known for setting up huge leads and challenging the field to catch him. With the harder tracks in the cooler conditions of Autumn Vo Rogue loved the pace he could generate winning races between 1200m and 2000m.
At the start of his success Vo Rogue put the racing world on notice in 1987 winning the Creswick Stakes at Flemington by over 8 lengths and backed it up with Group 1 success in the Alastair Clarke Stakes at Moonee Valley a few weeks later.
Trained by legendary trainer Vic Rail and ridden predominantly by Cyril Small Vo Rogue had huge success between 1987 and 1990 in particular especially in the C.F. Orr stakes which he won 3 times in that period. The race over 1400m is now the distance of the Vo Rogue Plate as a replica of Vo Rogue’s favoured distance.
In 2004 Vo Rogue was honoured by the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame when he was inducted as a result of his achievements.
Passing in 2012 at the grand age of 28 Vo Rogue received further recognition for his achievements when he was inducted into the Australian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in 2019.
Recent Results of the Vo Rogue Plate
In recent years we haven’t quite seen the huge front running displays the Vo Rogue displayed in his honoured race but we have seen some talented horses come out of the race.
Probably the most famous winner of the race is the 2012 victor Lucky Hussler who has since gone on to win 7 Group races amassing over $2m in prize money.
In more recent years we have also seen winners such as Winning Rupert for Bjorn Baker, Pierata for Greg Hickman and Boomsara for Chris Munce that have all gone on to further Group success and successful stud.
The most recent winner of the race has also had a victorious and at the same time chequered career in Alligator Blood.
Alligator Blood seemed to be on an upward trajectory after winning the Vo Rogue Plate going on to win the $2m 3yo Magic Millions but later being disqualified for a questionable sample. He has since then gained Group 1 success in the Australian Guineas however the cloud surrounding actions at the Gold Coast will always loom large.
Despite its stop start changeable history we hope that the Vo Rogue Plate has now found its home at Eagle Farm in the lead up to Magic Millions.
Its a fantastic way to honour Vo Rogue and recognise his achievements in the world of horse racing. His control over the C.F. Orr Stakes in the late 80’s is similar to the great achievements of Winx, Kingston Town and other treble winning Group 1 victors.
Now planned as a lead up race to Magic Millions it will be an excellent indicator race for form going into the Gold Coast event. With quality runners winning the race in recent years the schedule change will only help to bolster attendance by Australia's top racehorses.
A great race and a great way to honour an Australian Racing Legend.
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