Cox Plate Hall of Fame
25 October 2013 12:57 PM
In a week where we thought we would be talking about a match race between Atlantic Jewel and It's a Dundeel in Saturday's Cox Plate, punters are commiserating with the news of Atlantic Jewel's scratching and subsequent retirement from racing. The prospect of the rematch had created a buzz that was resonating across pubs, work sites and lounge rooms. Punters may be disappointed but the excitement still remains about a race that has historically provided some of the greatest moments in Australia's horse racing history. On the eve of the big race, we've taken a walk down memory lane to reflect on some of those magical moments.
The great Kingston Town is the only horse to have won 3 Cox Plates, a feat unlikely to be matched again in our lifetime. The most memorable of those wins is undoubtedly the1982 Cox Plate when he was hard ridden around the turn prompting the famous comment by legendary race caller Bill Collins, "Kingston Town can't win". As the field turned for home to tackle the short 176 metre Moonee Valley straight, Kingstown Town was still mid field caught behind horses. As he balanced and straightened up it appeared as though he grew wings flying fast enough to claim Grosvenor on the line.
In the week leading up to the 1986 Cox Plate every punter was talking about the match up between two great New Zealand horses, Our Waverly Star and the horse affectionately known as "Big Red", Bonecrusher. The hype was big and the race lived up to it. Six hundred metres out from home both horses declared each other on, pulling away from the field by 5 or 6 lengths. As they entered the straight Our Waverly Star appeared to be doing better with Bonecrusher under the whip. What happened next will live in punters memories forever.
After being under the whip and appearing as though he might fall back at any moment, Bonecrusher seemed to sail on the back of the Moonee Valley camber and catapulted forward to claim the lead. But only momentarily as Our Waverly Star responded to the whip and punched ahead again. The lead seemed to change with every stride over the short straight as one of the two would bound forward only to be headed again by the other. Bill Collin's call was perfectly fitting for the dual, his voice becoming hoarse and emotional with every length covered. As the pair came to the line, Bonecrusher had his head in front and claimed the prize, and was declared by Bill Collins as entering into equine immortality.
Another memorable Cox Plate win to enter our Hall of Fame is Super Impose's win in 1992, who at the twilight of his career as an eight year old, flew down the outside of the field to claim the race from Let's Elope on the line. Although there was a fall in the race which took out the favourite Naturalism, it is hard to say he wouldn't have got the money with the strong run he put in.
Then there's Northerly's two wins in consecutive years 2001 and 2002 against champion mare Sunline who had also won in consecutive years prior to that between 1999 and 2000.
Although we're missing out on seeing Atlantic Jewel, a mare most punters rated as the next big thing since Black Caviar, there is still a ton of talent in the field this year which is sure to add to the magical timeline of this captivating race.
|King of Social Punting|