- Hong Kong horse Romantic Warrior wins Cox Plate
- Overwhelmed to victory in the end
- Starring Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood
James McDonald has won one of the most exciting Cox Plate titles in history after defeating the Danny Shum-trained champion Romantic Warrior.
It was a furious finish down the straight as Mr Brightside tried to halt the late lead of Preface favorites Romantic Warrior and Alligator Blood.
It was a photo finish, but Hong Kong product “Romantic Warrior” won by a nose.
“This means so much.” I have so much faith in this horse and oh my God. “I thought we were beaten,” an emotional McDonald said after the race.
“When the camera didn’t follow me and I just left… I can’t say what I said.”
“I can’t believe we won the Cox Plate.”
Shum was equally emotional on the sidelines, thanking all his connections in Australia and Hong Kong.
“I’m very happy, I don’t know how to tell you how happy I am.” “I’m very, very happy,” he said.
“It will be really big for the city, I would like to thank Peter, James McDonald, the whole team, all the Hong Kong fans, my wife Kristy and my son Aaron.”
“I was confident that he would have a strong race.”
It was the last Cox Plate for experienced jockey Damien Oliver, who finished fourth on Duais.
Veteran racing announcer Bruce McAvaney said McDonald’s win at Romantic Warrior was a changing of the guard.
“I feel like the baton has been passed from Damien,” he said.
“Oliver to James McDonald today in many ways.” Olly is the greatest of all time, we know that, but in many ways I think the baton is being changed today, the day Olly gets his 22nd Cox Plate and his Last Cox Plate, I think we see a genius here.”
Opie Bosson rides Imperatriz to win Race 8, the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes, during Melbourne Racing at Moonee Valley Racecourse
Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are watching the third race in Mooney Valley closely
A huge crowd turned out for the Cox Plate and the entire day of racing at Mooney Valley Racecourse
Trainer Mitchell Freedman poses with his daughter after Skybird won the 3 Point Motors Fillies Classic
It was another big weekend in Moonee Valley as the 140th running of the Gold Cup took place on Friday evening and the Manikato Stakes ran just before the Cox Plate with Imperatriz saluting.
2023 COX PLATE FIELD
- 1 – Romantic Warrior (Barrier 7)
- 2 – Zaaki (12)3 – Mr Brightside (2)
- 4 – Alligator Blood (5)
- 5 – Gold Voyage (8)
- 6 – My Oberon (4)
- 7 – Pinstripes (11)
- 8 – Fangirl (9)
- 9 – Duais (1)
- 10 – Victoria Road (6)
- 11 – Militarize (3)
- 12 – King Colorado (10)