A much sought after golden ticket into the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate field is up for grabs on Saturday when runner’s line-up in the $250,000 Group 2 Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley.
For the first time since 2004, the race has reverted back to its registered name, which was first run in 1949 and won by Ellerslie. Since 2005, the Group 2 mile event has been named the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes as part of a sponsorship agreement with Think Big Stud, named in honour of the late Malaysian entrepreneur and three-time winning Cox Plate owner.
“We would like to thank Think Big Stud for their contribution to the Feehan Stakes over the past 14 years and look forward to working with them closely on other projects moving forward,” said Michael Browell, MVRC CEO.
“The MVRC will certainly be looking at new ways to honour Dato’ Tan Chin Nam and his legacy, with his impact on the W.S. Cox Plate through the likes of Saintly and So You Think an important part of the history of our race.”
John F. Feehan was the original landowner of where the racecourse precinct sits today and after the win of the Colin Hayes trained So Called in 1978, who would go on to win the W.S. Cox Plate later that year, was upgraded to its current Group 2 status. Nine horses have completed the Feehan Stakes-Cox Plate double in the same year, most recently El Segundo in 2007.
“The Feehan Stakes has traditionally provided a great platform into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate and with a quality field this year looking likely, I would expect the winner to add an interesting element to what is shaping as a legendary 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate,” said Browell.
“Being a ballot exempt race adds further intrigue to the Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes and it also forms part of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost series, meaning the winner will be racing for an additional $1M bonus and therefore $4M first prize winner’s cheque if they are ultimately successful in the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate”.
With 19 entries taken today, 15 of the nominations hold an entry to the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate and will be eligible for ballot exemption shall they win Saturday’s race. Alternatively, a $200,000 final late nomination fee can be paid for the four currently not nominated for the race.