State Of Rest and Anamoe fought out a thrilling finish in the 2021 Ladbrokes Cox Plate


While the stands were empty for the second year running for the 2021 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival, nothing took away from the high-quality racing as we were treated to two terrific spectacles in both Group 1 features. The Carnival also delivered a new wagering record for the two days and a new night racing wagering record for Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night.

The Joseph O’Brien trained State Of Rest prevailed in a thrilling edition of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, surviving a protest from Godolphin’s Anamoe to become only the second ever Irish trained winner of the W.S. Cox Plate, while Jonker reigned supreme in the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes holding off a fast-finishing Bella Nipotina.

The two-day Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival set a record wagering result of $183M (up 10% YOY), with Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day wagering reaching a record of $133.7M (up 9.3% YOY) and Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night setting a new night racing record of $49.6M (up 11.2% YOY). The Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night surpasses the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes Night record of $48.2M set on 24 September this year.

Field sizes were also up for the 2021 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival with the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night fields up 21% YOY and Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day field sizes up 9.3%.

The leading story of Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night was without doubt that of Daniel Moor, who won his third Group 1 race in the space of only four weeks. After claiming his first ever Group 1 with Sierra Sue in September, he has since won the Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes with Wild Ruler and now the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes with Jonker.

We awoke the next morning to the disappointing news that due to an elevated temperature long-time favourite Zaaki was to be scratched from the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, just one day after French import Gold Trip had been a withdrawal due to showing lameness at Werribee. While it may have dented our spirits temporarily, it could not diminish the drama, excitement and emotion of the 101st running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate – a day that always delivers epic racing and inspiring stories left, right and centre.

Under the expert guidance of Johnny Allen – who came to Australia from Ireland as a jumps jockey ten years ago – State Of Rest travelled sweetly throughout. Once the gap presented itself at the top of the straight, John Allen urged the son of Starspangledbanner to the front in the twinkling of an eye. State Of Rest and Anamoe then paired down to fight it out – with the Irish horse getting his head down when it mattered most. Craig Williams, jockey of Anamoe, fired in a protest immediately after the race – but after a nerve-racking half an hour period, stewards eventually dismissed the protest.

State Of Rest became only the second Irish trained winner of the W.S. Cox Plate, handing 28-year-old trainer Joseph O’Brien a third major to go with his two Melbourne Cups. It was his father Aidan O’Brien who became the first international trainer to win the race with Adelaide in 2014, and for their Irish jockey Johnny Allen, it was his thirteenth Group 1 – but more importantly his first Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

Other highlights of the day included Mokulua winning the 3 Point Motors Fillies Classic, Just Folk winning the Schweppes Crystal Mile, Forgot You claiming his third victory at The Valley in the Drummond Golf Vase, and Lunar Flare taking out the $1million McCafé Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

Jye McNeil claimed his first Catanach’s Jewellers Brent Thomson Jockey Challenge with 12 points across the two days. Close behind on 11 points was a three-way tie between Daniel Moor, Damian Lane and Johnny Allen.

“In a year where the Club has taken a significant financial hit with no crowds attending our marquee two-day Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival, we are delighted to see a record result for wagering which continues the current trend across the industry,” said Michael Browell, MVRC CEO.

“To announce a record wagering result for night racing on Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night illustrates that the two-day Carnival is now well entrenched in Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.

“Despite the two withdrawals prior to the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, Australia’s Best Race was not to be dampened, even with rain throughout the day. It delivered in spades with a nail-biting finish, and every horse had their chance, with Verry Elleegant since franking the form with her remarkable win in the Melbourne Cup.

“Through a lot of hard work from all in the racing industry for a second year in a row, we have been able to complete our Carnival with great success and to see these results come through makes all the hard work worth it.

“The 2021 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival, and in particular the 101st running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, will go down in history as one of the greatest editions we have ever seen – but we can’t wait to surpass it yet again when we can welcome back The Valley’s beating heart with 30,000 cheering fans in 2022,” said Browell.

The Club will now work closely with Racing Victoria (RV) to review all aspects of the two-day Carnival, in particular the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes and its current position on the racing calendar.

The MVRC’s Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights season now gets into full swing from this Friday night, with racing to continue throughout the summer and culminating in a night racing season finale on Friday 25 March with the Group 1 $1M Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes.

2021 Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival Stats:


Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival

Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day

Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night






$183M (+10% YOY)

$133.7M (+9.3% YOY)

$49.6M (+11.2% YOY)

Ladbrokes Cox Plate – 100th Edition

Joseph O’Brien – 1st W.S. Cox Plate


Second win for the O’Brien family – Adelaide (2014) won for Aidan O’Brien

John Allen – 1stW.S. Cox Plate

3 - the number of international winners of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate – State of Rest (2021), Lys Gracieux (2019) and Adelaide (2014)