Lys Gracieux became the first Japanese horse to win the Ladbrokes Cox Plate in 2019
To celebrate the 100th running of the W S Cox Plate, the Moonee Valley Racing Club has launched the 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series. Over the coming months, the Moonee Valley Racing Club will partner with a number of the leading middle-distance weight-for-age turf Group 1 races around the world where the winners of these selected races will be eligible to win AUD$1m bonus should they win the 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
The 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate will be run at Moonee Valley Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia on Saturday 24 October over 2040m on turf. With prizemoney of AUD$5m on offer, the Cox Plate is Australia’s richest Group 1 Weight-For-Age race and the richest turf 2,000 metre race in the world.*
The first international race to be included in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series will be the JRA Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen over 2200m on Sunday 28 June. The Takarazuka Kinen is one of Japan’s most prestigious races, with an honour roll that includes champions such as Deep Impact (2006), Admire Moon (2007), Orfevre (2012), Gold Ship (2013 & 2014) and Mikki Rocket (2018).
In 2019, Lys Gracieux won the Takarazuka Kinen before travelling to Melbourne to contest the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate. With Australian jockey Damian Lane riding, Lys Gracieux delivered a dominant performance at The Valley to become the first Japanese bred and trained horse to win Australia’s most prestigious weight-for-age race. Lys Gracieux returned to Japan and won the Arima Kinen in her farewell race.
First run in 1960, the Takarazuka Kinen sees the top 10 runners chosen by a fan vote. With a field capacity of 18, the Takarazuka is the final Spring Group 1 race. The Takarazuka Kinen carries prizemoney of ¥325,000,000 (AUD$4.33m) with the winner to receive ¥150,000,000 (AUD$2.0m).
Under the conditions of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series, if the winner of the 2020 Takarazuka Kinen wins the 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate, they would win AUD$3m (¥225,000,000) first prizemoney plus a AUD$1m (¥75,000,000) bonus (total prizemoney plus bonus AUD$4m or ¥300,000,000).*
In addition to the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series, the Moonee Valley Racing Club also offers the winner of the Takarazuka Kinen return flights and accommodation and covers all expenses incurred in travelling to Melbourne to contest the Cox Plate. The Moonee Valley Racing Club also waives the nomination and acceptance / declaration fees for the Takarazuka Kinen winner, saving connections AUD$60,000 (¥4,500,000).
The inclusion of the Takarazuka Kinen in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series further strengthens the relationship between the Moonee Valley Racing Club and the JRA. The Cox Plate will continue to be one of the races selected by the JRA for the Japan Cup International Bonus, with the Cox Plate winner eligible to win a bonus of US$3m should they win the 2020 Japan Cup (prizemoney of ¥648,000,000 or AUD$8.64m) at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday 29 November. The Japan Cup International Bonus for the Cox Plate winner running second would be US$1,200,000, third US$750,000 and unplaced US$200,000.
MVRC Chairman Don Casboult is delighted to announce the 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series and the partnership with the JRA through the Takarazuka Kinen.
“2019 was a special year for the Moonee Valley Racing Club with Japanese mare Lys Gracieux winning the 99th running of the W S Cox. The MVRC looks forward to developing a stronger association with the JRA and leading Japanese owners and trainers through the W S Cox Plate. The W S Cox Plate is The Race Where Legends Are Made, and we were delighted to add Lys Gracieux to the prestigious honour roll of champions that have won our great race.
“We look forward to assembling a world-class field for the 100th running of the W S Cox Plate at The Valley this October. Through this partnership with the Takarazuka Kinen, we hope to again welcome one of Japan’s best horses to contest the 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate. I thank Ladbrokes for their continued support of the MVRC and this rich bonus that they have added to the 2020 Cox Plate”.
Ladbrokes Australia CEO Dean Shannon, said his company was thrilled to continue its association with the Cox Plate and expected the 2020 edition to be hotly contested.
“The Ladbrokes Cox Plate is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the sporting calendar and we expect a very strong field to chase a slice of history by winning the 100th running of the great race.
“The dominant win by Lys Gracieux in 2019, while costly for Ladbrokes, underlined the Cox Plate’s standing as a race of true international significance.
“We are pleased to partner with the MVRC to offer the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series and to help attract a field fitting of the race’s rich and fabled history.”
*The MVRC will confirm Cox Plate prizemoney and additional races that form the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost Series over the coming weeks.