The Cox Plate is now effectively worth as much as Sydney’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle for the connections of Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey due to a new bonus announced by Racing Victoria today.
The first prize cheque for the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate sits at $3 million but will be boosted to $4 million for horses who can win one of 13 key races in Victoria before winning Australia’s premier weight-for-age contest.
Mystic Journey has already won two, the All-Star Mile and Australian Guineas, of the 13 designated races involved in the Cox Plate bonus.
Other races include; the Australian Cup, Alister Clark Stakes, Memsie Stakes, Makybe Diva Stakes, Feehan Stakes, Underwood Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Toorak Handicap, Caulfield Guineas, Thousand Guineas or Caulfield Stakes.
“The Spring Racing Carnival in Victoria is unsurpassed in its ability to showcase world class racing and the announcement today by Racing Victoria ensures that this remains the case,” said Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell.
“The 13 key Victorian feature races that now have a lucrative $1 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost bonus attached to them in they win the Ladbrokes Cox Plate will ensure the best horses will compete in Victoria this spring.
“It will add huge interest in the weight-for-age championship of Australasia on October 26 for those racing for such a lucrative purse of $4 million.”
A $1 million bonus has also been created in a bid to lure Australia’s best three-year-olds to have a shot at taking on the older horses in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Any three-year-old will be eligible for the extra $1 million by simply competing in either the Stutt Stakes, Caulfield Guineas Prelude or Thousand Guineas Prelude first before then running in the Caulfield Guineas or Thousand Guineas prior to winning the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Further enhancements have been made to the Moonee Valley spring carnival with the Moir Stakes having its prizemoney doubled from $500,000 to $1 million.
The Moir Stakes (1000m) kicks off the Moonee Valley night racing season on Friday September 27 and is now the second $1 million sprint conducted at the inner-city track along with the Manikato Stakes (1200m), run on Friday October 25.